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Land Trust re-starts hike program after long delay

Land Trust re-starts hike program after long delay

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While Land Trust of Napa County may not command a fan base anywhere near the size of the NBA or Major League Baseball, the Covid-19 pandemic’s ripple effect of event cancelations hit the non-profit hard in one of its most popular offerings: hiking.

Dozens of outings that normally run almost year-round suddenly were wiped off the calendar, leaving behind a myriad of paths less traveled.

“My wife and I missed seeing the friends we made and the places we visited together,” said Land Trust volunteer hike leader Rodney Ready after nearly all of the hikes from 2020 and the first half of 2021 were canceled.

Fortunately, now that vaccines have rolled out and masking and social distancing are well established, the Land Trust has brought back a full schedule of guided hikes for the Fall 2021-Winter 2022 season.

Which is a welcome sight for the volunteer hike leaders who gathered for the first time in 17 months to plan for the new season during a meeting at Connolly Ranch in June.

Lorna Turner, a hike leader with the Land Trust for the better part of nine years, missed being out in nature with groups of people and meeting new folks.

“I love to share nature with others who are interested,” said Turner. “And some places are extra special.”

As a hike leader for the past three years, Rodney Ready echoes the same sentiment.

“Hiking attracts a wide range of folks and ages, but one element shared by all who hike is an appreciation and wonder for a wilderness environment,” said Ready.

“I’m looking forward to going on some outings just to participate,” said Chip Bouril, a long-time Land Trust hike and volunteer leader.

The schedule includes new hikes like the Archer Taylor Preserve Art Stroll (Oct. 10) and the Stanly Wetlands Beginning Birder Walk (Dec. 12), along with old standbys like the Linda Falls Hike (Jan. 23) and Hoffnagle Loop (Feb. 26).

The Land Trust will follow health and safety guidelines and precautionary steps during each hike to prevent the spread of Covid-19. Participants will also be asked to follow distancing and masking protocols as needed.

For a ticket to the outdoors, that’s an easy price to pay.

Upcoming hikes 

• Oct 10: ATP Art Stroll — new! — napalandtrust.org/hikes/atp-art-stroll-10102021/

Rating: Easy, less than 1 mile, less than 1,000 ft. elevation gain

Spend the morning in the inspiring redwood forest of the Archer Taylor Preserve with your preferred art supplies: camera, sketchpad, journal, paints, etc. Take your time to enjoy the redwood grove and redwood creek as you stroll and stop along the way to observe and enjoy.

• Dec 12: Stanly Wetlands Beginning Birder Walk — new! — napalandtrust.org/hikes/stanly-wetlands-beginning-birder-walk-12122021/

Rating: Easy, 1-2 miles, less than 1,000 ft. elevation gain

The Napa River and its wetlands are home to many kinds of waterfowl, shorebirds and raptors. While exploring the Stanly Ranch wetlands on this walk, you will learn about the birds in this area, how to spot them, and their role in this ecosystem. All ages welcome; children must be accompanied by an adult. Bring binoculars (if you have them).

• Jan. 23: Linda Falls Hikenapalandtrust.org/hikes/linda-falls-hike-01232022/

Rating: Easy to moderate, 2 miles, less than 1,000 ft elevation gain

Enjoy the beautiful Linda Falls Preserve and visit a stunning waterfall near Conn Creek’s headwaters. This slow-to-moderate pace will allow plenty of time spent at the waterfall. Be sure to bring footwear with good tread as you will encounter short sections of steep trail.

• Feb 26: Hoffnagle Loop — napalandtrust.org/hikes/hoffnagle-loop-02262022/

Rating: Strenuous, 9 miles, 2,000-3,000 ft elevation gain

This trek will take you into the Dunn-Wildlake Preserve from the Hunting Camp up and around to Three Peaks, then along Rattlesnake Ridge for lovely views of the valley. Afterward,  head down the trail to Bell Canyon Creek and up the steep trail to Poppy Flat. Bring lunch, water, sun protection, and clothing for variable weather. Required: hiking boots, as this is a strenuous hike.

The full schedule can be found at napalandtrust.org/hikesactivities/hikes/.

The central Chinese city of Zhengzhou was flooded-out by a record-shattering amount of rainfall on Wednesday.  More than 24 inches of rain fell in the city in a 24-hour timespan.  Eight inches of that rain fell in just one hour. Rescue crews worked frantically to save motorists from the flooded streets. The floodwaters submerged a school.  Children were floated out of the school in plastic bins. The city's underground subway system was overrun with water.   The flood waters were waist-deep in some areas.  Commuters who were stuck in the flooded subway trains stood on seats to save themselves.  A dozen people drowned. In neighboring India, heavy downpours flooded city streets.  Several days of rain in the region caused a massive mudslide near Mumbai.  At least 31 people were killed in the mudslide. In the western United States, an unrelenting drought has caused significant wildfire risks.  Large wildfires destroyed houses as they spread.  "I really don't know what else to say about this, we've lost everything."The 79 active wildfires in the country have burnt nearly 1.5 million acres.Oregon's Bootleg fire is now the third largest in the state's history.  Thousands of firefighters and emergency personnel work around the clock to fight the blazes.  A change in the weather pattern helped to calm the winds which gave fire crews the chance to control the fires. The Tamarack fire jumped across the California border into neighboring Nevada.  Officials ordered new evacuations.   Derek Rickford fled from his house as the fire approached from three different sides. "We've had fire approach from three directions and they've stopped it within about a quarter mile in each of the three directions."California power company, Pacific Gas and Electric, announced it will bury 10,000 miles of its electric lines.  It will cost the company up to $30 billion to complete the project.   PG&E made the announcement after admitting its equipment may have ignited one of the large fires. 

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