Sunday, May 26, 2013

Truckee River Legacy Trail

We leave Coyote Bluff with friends Don and Margaret for a hike along the Truckee River.  Hard to leave the property with a morning vista like this, but I have a hankering for moving water and so we drive down the mountain to Truckee and look for the start of the Truckee River Legacy Trail.

Immediately, we are rewarded with startling wildflowers in bloom amidst the dry sage and pine needle duff.

The first half of the trail is nicely paved for bikes, roller blades, skateboards, strollers and walkers.  Not much traffic for a holiday weekend.

Near the end of the paved portion of the trail, we pass the site of the old ice works, where the Truckee River was fed into freezing basins along the river bottom, then cut up into chunks several feet thick with big hand powered ice saws, and hoisted across the river in this trolley to the ice warehouse near the train tracks.  There, the ice would last up to three years before being put into service cooling rail cars full of California produce bound for eastern markets.

A more intimate section of the trail along the river.  Here we saw swallows, ducks, red wind blackbirds, and during lunch a group of Western Tanagers chasing bugs in a nearby tree. 

All along the river fisherman were trying their luck in the pools and eddies. See the fisherman on the right side of this image?

This magnificent animal is 100% Western Yellowstone wolf and is named "Foxy". She was rescued from a poacher 3 years ago a year after she was plucked with her entire brood of siblings from the wolf's den in the park. I did not cozy up to her, but her mannerisms were definitely not that of a typical dog being walked along the path. The amber eyes I was told are a sign of 100% wolf blood.

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