Annual 2021 Birthday Mountain Climb and Jackson Meadows Group Campout

This year we decided to combine a group campout at Jackson Meadows with our annual mountain climb.  We normally, for the past 12 years or so,  have climbed Fall Creek Mountain, but this year we climbed Mt. Lola instead to the 9100′ level.  Climbers included Stephen and Janelle, Unni, Kate, me and Charlie.  It was gorgeous as before.  Still had running creeks and waterfalls.  Wildflowers were still blooming but the Hastes were pretty much done.  Windy at the top so I couldn’t do any droning.  Stephen and I stopped around Sphinx head (very near the top) while the women went all the way.  On the way down, Charlie was pretty pooped.  He would run to the next shady spot and lay down to rest.  I carried him a short part of the way.  He was fine.

Mike and Vicki stayed in the camp and met up with Susan Mahaffy who joined the group.  Dinners were divided up by groups, so everyone only had one dinner to be responsible for.  Lots of great food and drink.

We hiked up Pass Creek which was down to just a trickle.  Flush bathrooms were shut down due to water shortage because of the drought.  But faucets worked up until we left.  There was only one pit toilet to service the whole campground of about 40+ campsites.  Not a good situation.  Usually they provide port-potties but this time they were in demand for the fire fighters around the state.

Weather was delightful, 80s during the day and high 40s to low 50s at might.  Fishing was terrible, not a nibble.  Lots of kayaking and canoeing.

The last night we celebrated Stephen’s birthday.  Kate made Curry over brown rice with all the fixings.  Then she topped it off with her home made Kalua, and ice cream with her home made bourbon/butterscotch topping.  Terrific.  All the meals were amazingly delicious.  Kate’s singing the birthday song was not so amazing, except in a funny kind of way.

I decided to mostly take videos this time resulting in the 18 minute video below.  I failed to use my gimbal so several  of my clips were too jerky to use even after using the stabilization in post.  Also I need to add an external microphone since the sound recorded via my smartphone just doesn’t make it.  I ordered one today.

I did fly the drone, but some of the kayaks are overexposed.  I really needed to use a stronger ND filter, and manually set the exposure.  It’s all a learning process.

At any rate, here is the video followed by some photos.  First batch by me and the next batch by our good friend Unni Stevens.

More photos taken by Unni Stevens

Author: Geoff

Quick rundown: Grew up in Lombard, Illinois, went to Arizona State University, worked as a CPA with Arthur Andersen & Co, then Laventhal and Horwath, then Rolling Stones, then Heron International, then Goodby Berlin and Silverstein in San Francisco. Moved to the foothills in 1990 and traded futures and designed websites. Married to Kate Stewart, now living in Colfax, CA. We have six grandchildren. I enjoy camping in our RV, hiking, kayaking, fishing, droning and cross country skiing Also conga drumming, photography and dogs.