Day 88 - July 2
Mile: 1160.8 to 1179.3
up/down: 2850/3350 feet
Most of today was spent hiking through Nevada County where we surveyed birds for the Breeding Bird Atlas. It seems like forever ago that we discussed this day with Steve and Diane Rose during a birding outing. In follow up discussions Steve gave us coordinates for where the trail passed through the various blocks used in the atlas. According to Steve, most of the trail we hiked has never been surveyed for birds. While we have been doing pretty much the same thing since the beginning, it was fun to include the added dimension of the atlas. The highlights of our traverse through Nevada County include two singing Pine Grosbeaks, all the expected warblers (Hermit, Yellow-rumped, Wilson's, MacGillivray's, Orange-crowned, Nashville), dozens of Fox Sparrows and Green-tailed Towhees, and most of all the regular montane species.
Not done with snow yet!
To get through the county we traversed five different river drainages going up and down for each. The views on top of the ridges were great all morning. The only disappointment was when we passed through an area that had been logged. I appreciate wood and paper products as much as the next guy, but is it really necessary to log on top of a National Scenic Trail? Is it also necessary that every tree that isn't to be cut has to be painted with non-biodegradable blue paint? Come on. This is disgraceful. Rant over.
We left Nevada and entered Sierra County in the afternoon. The wind was up and smoke from the Trailhead Fire along the American River was pouring into our view. One cool thing, we saw Mt. Lassen for the first time today in the far off distance. We'll be there soon enough.