Oroville received 4 inches of rain this past week. That means the waterfalls on Table Mountain would be flowing strong. But the Foothills received over 8.5 inches of rain, and the North Fork American River got up to almost 30,000 cubic feet per second. Indeed, I think the NFAR was the highest it has been since before the drought started. That is some pretty awesome stuff, thus I was hoping to hike somewhere in the area of the NFAR. However, when I woke up the forecast was saying it would be too sunny (unlike the previous night when I went to bed the forecast said cloudy). Oroville, on the other hand, was supposed to be cloudy all day long. So I figured my best bet would be to go to Oroville.
I arrived at the Table Mountain trailhead and started my hike. It seemed partially cloudy (but not completely cloudy like the forecast said it would be – ugh). The big thing, though, was the fog! Do you think the fog was a good or bad thing? The killer cows were nowhere to be seen. It was odd. I only saw a few cows on my hike in, and they were quite a distance away. Perhaps they do not like the fog? I saw a few more on the return, but not nearly as much as usual. As I hiked, I thought the fog would add a fantastic element to Phantom Falls that I have not seen before, but as I approached the waterfall I began to wonder if it was too foggy. I would not even be able to see the waterfall at all. Indeed, when I reached the main viewpoint for Phantom Falls it was completely socked in. I could hear the waterfall, I could not see it. Not even the foggiest little sliver of the stream could be seen (pun intended). Phantom Falls was certainly living up to its name today. Well, I continued on to the brink of Phantom Falls, and as I got near, finally I began to see a bit of something through the mist. This shot was not taken from the main viewpoint, it is a closer spot. I think it is pretty cool. You may say that it was a bad day to hike to Phantom Falls: too foggy, you can’t see anything, boring, etc. Not me. It was the perfect day! Why go there on a day when it is just the same as any other day you’ve ever been there. “That” is boring to me. Today it was different and unique. It was fantastic.
I would have liked to stay at Phantom longer but I wanted to try to find another waterfall as well. The flow in Phantom Falls (not that you can tell from the photo) was quite high after the 4 inches of rain. I had to hike far upstream from the top of the falls in order to cross the stream this time, usually I do not have to go so far upstream. Unfortunately, I could not find anything else today. I got down where I wanted to, and found plenty of poison oak to trample through, but no waterfall. Well, darn it anyway. I got the stupid itch (on my neck this time) for nothing at all. By the time I got back to Phantom Falls, the fog was gone, but it was too sunny to take more photos. The fog photo works very well for me.