Memorial Day weekend, my plan was to go on a big 3 day backpacking trip in the NFAR Canyon. 11 waterfalls in 3 days? It was possible. Would I succeed?

My daughter had a big dance schnazzle thing on Friday night, so it was late before I could get going. I drove up Foresthill Rd to Tadpole. There was snow here. End of the line. I would not be driving any further, but there was no one around, which was perfect; I thought for sure there would be lots of people up here on Memorial Day weekend. I got into bed at about 10 PM, sleeping in my car the first night. As I’m trying to get to sleep some guy in a truck comes up. He tries to go through the snow in the dark, and of course he got stuck. Bottomed out. He then comes down to wake me up because I am the only one around. Well there is no way to push him out, and I was not going to drive up there, I’d just get stuck myself. It would not have helped anyway (but that is what he wanted, for some reason). So I drove him back almost all the way to Foresthill before we got cell service, and he called his cousin to come get him out. His cousin was up at Robinson Flat waiting for him but he went the back way. I highly doubted he could drive over Canada Hill (and he could not, as I found out later), so he would have had to drive all the way back to Foresthill and then up Foresthill Rd to Tadpole to rescue his cousin. It was probably 3AM before he even got there. After my neighborly duty was finished, I did not stick around to find out what happened afterwards. However, you really gotta wonder what would possess this guy to attempt to drive through all that snow in the first place. It is crazy. He is a few marbles short of a full pack if you ask me. Like that boy Ray Cabalfin who was swept away jumping in the American River recently. Why on earth would anyone jump in a river that is so clearly and visibly moving that fast? It is just plain stupid. Not to mention freezing cold, you will get hypothermia in about a minute or two. On my hike, I had to cross Tadpole Creek to get down to this waterfall viewpoint. It was easy to do, but it sure was damn freezing.

Anyway, somewhere along the way driving back to Foresthill for this guy I somehow ran over a nail. My tire light came on but I thought it was a different tire that has a very slow leak. Nonetheless, it was still very disconcerting and I sure did not want to come back to the car late on Monday afternoon to find I had a big old flat tire.

It was midnight before I got back in bed. My initial plan was to get up at 4:30 AM, well that was not happening anymore. And yes, when I woke up in the morning I saw that I had a big old flat. It was a different tire than the one with a slow leak. This leak was not so slow. Lovely. That’s what I get for being a good Samaritan. I kinda felt like I should just change the tire and go home. I considered doing just that, but I was within walking distance to Tadpole Canyon. The tire would still be there when I got back from a morning hike.

Tadpole Canyon was very tough this time because all the brush is incredibly bad there now. It seems that since the forest fires that have happened in these areas the brush has grown up ten times worse than it was before. I have seen it in multiple places so far this year. I got to the waterfall viewpoint, but barely. The brush was horrendously crazy. I don’t think I will ever come back here again. This is the end of the line for Tadpole Canyon Falls. It will be completely inaccessible in another year or so. I really wanted to try to get down to find a view of the lower falls on this Creek (my main reason for coming back here again), but the brush was even worse further down and there was no way I could do it. I don’t see any possible way to get down to it now.

I got back to my car. The tire was still flat. Bummer.

After changing it, the tire light was still on. I guessed the spare just had low pressure but I could not risk that it had a slow leak also. I decided to just drive home, get them all fixed up, then come back out the next day.

My conclusion: God really does not want me to go backpacking down in the American River Canyon this year. That is three strikeouts so far. My wife says maybe there is something to that. God is protecting me from something. I say, well maybe, I don’t know, but it’s “NFAR Canyon”!

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