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Doggin Shasta And The Rogue River Cool Things To See While You Hike With Your Dog

"If your dog is fat," the old saying goes, "you aren't getting enough exercise." But walking the dog need not be just about a little exercise. Here are 15 cool things you can see around northern California and southern Oregon while you hike with your dog.

ENGINEERING MARVELS.
Between the town of Dairy and Sprague River, On the OC & E Trailyou will pass an odd-looking section over a hill. This is a railroad double switchback, which enabled trains to be split for navigating the hill.

The original plans called for a tunnel through Bly Mountain, but as funds were low it was decided the cheaper double switchback-solution was good enough. Prior to the 1990 closing of the railroad, this unique engineering landmark was last of its kind in the United States.FASCINATING BIRDS.
Shasta Lake is a popular nesting spot for bald eagles, offering an opportunity to see them hunting and nesting in the wild. At McCloud Falls,be on the lookout for the little American Dipper birds that patrol the tumbling waters. These tiny birds, also known as water ouzels, zoom around over the surface and plunge in and out of the cascading water in search of food.

They use their wings to "fly" underwater and can even be seen walking on the stream bottom pecking for larval insects, fish eggs and even slow fish just as if they were walking on the trail.FRESH TASTING WATER.
Tub Springs was a popular stopping point for travelers on the Applegate Trail to refresh with a cool drink of fresh mountain water from tub springs. You can still do so today. A stone water fountain at Hedge Creek Falls dispenses "the best water on earth," according to townsfolk in Dunsmuir.

You can have a taste and judge for yourself at the gazebo on the top of the trail.GOLD.
People have come to the Shasta/Rogue River Valley for 150 years to search for gold and it is probably not all gone. You can rent a pan for $1 and chase gold in the creeks in Whiskeytown Recreation Area.

Prior to 1900, the City of Redding operated a gold mine in Blue Gravel Canyon, the only town in California to do so. The mine is long gone of course, but the trail remains and has relics from the gold era along the path. Did they get all the gold here?.

GREAT DAMS.
Shasta Dam opened in 1945 and flooded 35 miles of the Sacramento River valley. One of the biggest dams ever conceived when construction began in 1938, the building of Shasta Dam established several "world records." Among them was the Southern Pacific Railroad's double decker bridge that was the highest ever built and the construction of the world's longest conveyor belt system - 10.

5 miles - to bring sand and aggregate to the building site from Redding. The water spilling over Shasta Dam created the largest artificial waterfall ever seen - three times as high as the drop at Niagara Falls. The Trinity Dam, rising 466 feet from bedrock, is one of the highest earth-filled dams in the world.HISTORIC BUILDINGS.
Fire has claimed many an old building in the West but there are still some significant wooden buildings left standing in the wilderness. In Trinity Recreation Area stands the Bowerman Barn, painstakingly constructed with hardwood pegs and one of the most representative 19th-century hand-crafted structures in California.

Also in the park is the orignal log house from the Stoddard homestead, just off the Stoddard Trail. In Ah-Di-Na Campground in Siskiyou County, canine hikers can study an historic cabin that was restored by volunteers in 1990 using only traditional tools such as long axes and chisels.INTERESTING TREES.
In TouVelle State Recreation Site is one of the largest granary trees in southern Oregon. A granary tree is a special tree targeted by acorn woodpeckers to store food.

This ponderosa pine is estimated to have as many as 50,000 holes! On the Blue Canyon Trail you can see a tree where Judge John Waldo from Salem, Oregon and his party traced the route that is now the Pacific Crest Trail, becoming the first to cross the crest of the southern Cascades in 1888.LOFTY LOOKOUTS.
Mountain trails often climax at Forest Service lookouts with dramatic views. At Medicine Lake, Hoffman Lookout was built for fire surveillance in 1924 and started out as a tiny 8 sq.ft.

cabin. The cabin is available for rent ((530) 964-2184) and is quite popular. Herd Peak Lookout sits eastward of the main Cascade fault line, overlooking a magnificent valley of hills created from pyroclastic lava flows off Mount Shasta. During fire season, the lookout is manned from 9:30AM to 9PM, and the person in charge will be sitting in the tower watching over the valley, ready to report any sign of a fire to firefighters by radio. The rustic Marble Valley Guard Station, completed in 1928 , is an early example of simple stations built by the Forest Service as fire lookouts. Trail crews and wilderness rangers still work from Marble Valley today - still with little concession to modern comforts.

The guard station is reached by a difficult climb at the juncion of trails PC 2000 and 11W014, about 2.5 miles southwest of Lover's Camp Trailhead.LOGGING HERITAGE.
You can't come away from a canine hike at Collier Memorial State park without a greater appreciation for the logging industry. The paths through the outdoor museum wind from the days of oxen and hand axes through the age of steam and up to today's diesel machines.

You'll find railroad heritage here as well. Look for an old Baldwin steam locomotive known, more or less affectionately, as GOP - "Get Out And Push." The engine strained so much hauling redwood logs in and out of the mountains that it was constantly derailing.

MYTHICAL CREATURES.
On the hike to the summit of Collings Mountain you will find the world's only known Bigfoot trap. Constructed of wood with a heavy metal door reinforced by metal bolts by the North American Wildlife team in 1974, the idea was the lure an unsuspecting Sasquatch into the 10-foot by 10-foot pit from which it could not escape.

As you hike along the trails of Mount Shasta keep an eye out for tall, graceful folks with long flowing hair dressed in white robes - and a walnut-sized organ protruding from the center of their foreheads. These would be Lemurians, most probably from the massive lost continent of Mu that once lay under the Pacific Ocean and helped explain how lemurs ended up on the island of Madagascar. One of the more well travelled folktales associated with Mount Shasta, some believed the Lemurians came to live in a city called Telos inside of the volcano.

OLD ORCHARDS.
Joseph H. Stewart State Park
is built on an old homestead from the 1940s.

Fruit grew here in grand orchards, in the beginnings of Oregon's commercial pear industry. You can still see some old pear trees and apple trees and walnut trees scattered around the park. You will find historic fruit trees along the trail at Wolf Creek Inn State Heritage Site as well.UNUSUAL BRIDGES.
The Sacramento River Trail is and ideal hike for studying bridge architecture. Classical arch bridges transport vehicular traffic across the Sacramento and theDiestlehorst Bridge is a prototypical 19th century pier and girder iron bridge.

The Ribbon Bridge is the first of its kind in the nation - a 13-foot wide, 420-foot long concrete stess-ribbon structure. The Sundial Bridge at Turtle Bay is the first American project for the celebrated Spanish bridge architect, Santiago Calatrava. The focal point of his design is a 218-foot curved tower on the north bank of the river that doubles as support for the bridge's suspension cables and as the world's largest sundial. The bridge sports a glass decking that enhances the natural light and enables unobstructed views of the mountains at the horizon and the salmon at play below.VOLCANIC SOUVENIRS.
This landscape was formed in many places by volcanic eruptions.

The trail around Brown Mountain provides dramatic glimpses of lava flow. At Black Butte, a small group of inactive "plug dome" volcano craters dot the landscape. Plug domes have a type of lava flow that too thick and stiff to flow normally, but instead is squeezed out the top like crusty icing. All that remains of the mighty 12,000-foot volcano that once dominated the southern Cascades are eight protruding peaks in the Mountain Lakes Wilderness. And there is the odd Oregon Desert, a pumice-covered landscape in the Sky Lakes Wilderness. Ash from Mount McLouhlin's last eruption sits fifty feet deepa across the area.

WATERFALLS.
This trail at McCloud Falls reveals three waterfalls in little more than a mile: the Lower Falls (a powerful, ten-foot drop into a wide pool), the Middle Falls (a classically wide, 50-foot waterfall), and the Upper Falls (a water spout squeezing through granite cliffs). Two hikes in the town of Dunsmuir also find different types of falls: Hedge Creek Falls cutting through basalt rock and Mossbrae Falls dripping through moss and ferns.

WRITER INSPIRATIONS.
The best-selling Western writer of all time, Zane Grey, used the Rogue River as the centerpiece of many of his stories. His cabin can still be seen on the Rogue. Jack London wrote Valley of the Moon while a guest at Wolf Creek Inn.

.I am the author of over 20 books, including 8 on hiking with your dog, including the widely praised The Canine Hiker's Bible. As publisher of Cruden Bay Books, we produce the innovative A Bark In The Park series of canine hiking books found at http://www.hikewithyourdog.

com. During the warm months I lead canine hikes as tour leader for hikewithyourdog.com tours, leading packs of dogs and humans on day and overnight trips. My lead dog is Katie, a German Shepherd-Border Collie mix, who has hiked in all of the Lower 48 states and is on a quest to swim in all the great waters of North America - http://web.mac.

com/crudbay/iWeb/Katies%20Blog/Katies%20Quest.html I am currently building a hikewithyourdog.com tours trailer to use on our expeditions and its progress can be viewed at http://web.mac.com/crudbay/iWeb/Teardrop%20Trailer/Building%20A%20Tour%20Trailer.html.

By: Doug Gelbert



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