Cronan Ranch Regional Park - December 2020

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On Saturday, December 12, five of us met in Roseville. We carpooled uphill on Hwy. 80, passing through Auburn, then taking Hwy. 49 south for 12 miles to Cronan Ranch Regional Park, not far from Pilot Hill. Cronan Ranch is managed by the American River Conservancy.

This was in the midst of the first multi-day rainstorm of the 2020-21 winter season, and, we were fortunate that the weather allowed enough time between storm cells for us to be out & about.    

The trail we took meandered gradually downhill to the South Fork of the American River, and back, a round trip of about four miles, with a few hundred feet of elevation loss/gain.

We took our time & walked more slowly than usual, at times caught up in conversations, a talkative day out. 

myself, Karen, Dominic, Linda and Rich

Out on the walk we had ever-changing light conditions, in Sierra Nevada foothills landscape & vegetation. 

note - you can enlarge any part of a picture by left-clicking in and then out again. 

sun breaking through Karen & Rich & Dominic Oaks
  mist in the trees skinny grey Pines in the distance old-looking curtain
old-looking cabin, see note a brief stop to talk about trails Dom & Linda downhill path to the river
  grey pines on the other side of the river   you could see & hear the River  
native black walnut tree   in the weeds  

note - a few days after the hike Rich sent info about that old-looking cabin, a replica pioneer ranch house, built in 2003 as a setting for a Hallmark Channel movie called Love Comes Softly.  

We stopped for lunch alongside the south fork of the American River, which had a small but protected & quiescent pool of water, away from the turbulent main channel. This allowed most of us to try our hand at stone-skipping.

Many moons ago I had good stone-skipping skills, and showed Dominic what an ideal skipping stone looks like, picking out 4 or 5 for him to try. He got the hang of it pretty quickly. 

Dom had the day's best toss, three of us counting 8 skips. This was a really good self-esteem outcome for him, and he became a non-stop talkative kid on the walk back. I enjoyed listening, and learned a lot about him and his world.        

History note - in January 1848, Sacramento resident John Sutter and his partners made the initial discovery of gold in California, at Coloma, only a few miles upstream. The gold was in the riverbed, there for the taking, in the early years.         

South Fork of the American River lunch rock w/giant green rock behind stone skipping area on the left  Dom developing his throwing skills
  sly & the family skipping stone giant green rock (about 6 ft. high) heading back  
mountain bikers near the old cabin   gradual uphill walking open space walking = mental health day out
      gateway to everywhere  

Afterwards, Rich sent out these images, for which I am grateful.        

    talking with Dom while Linda scans the ground for skipping stones    

It was good to be out on a mid-Winter walk, even a short one. We were all back at Roseville by 3 pm & I was home by 4 pm.

'Twas a well-planned & executed day out. 

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