CBDT 601
Ruth Lake: Photo: Gregory McDonald

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On this part of our trip up the California Backcountry Discovery Trail, we spent a couple of nights at Fir Cove Campground on Ruth Lake. After leaving there we found one of the nicest remote campsites of the trip.

Enjoying breakfast, complete with table cloth. Photo: Nik Schulz

We spent most of the day at Ruth Lake relaxing and catching up on little things. Greg did laundry (see video). I rigged up a solar shower from a 7-gallon water container, a few parts from the garden store, a windshield reflector, some paracord, and a couple of stakes. It took about four hours to get warm. I think six would have made it nice and hot. Seven gallons of water was enough for the three of us each to have a quick shower.

The solar shower heating up. Photo: Nik Schulz
Natalie makes use of the Montero's optional shower feature.

The next morning we fueled up on expensive gas at the the Journey’s End and the headed southeast along the CBDT.

$4.89? Just half a tank for me, thanks.

Just north of the Ruth fire station the CBDT jogs to the southwest then continues southeast along the top of Mad River Ridge. We got out for some photos.

The three of us pose atop Mad River Ridge. Photo: Natalie Menacho
Your truck: gateway to the world. Photo: Natalie Menacho
Greg continues down the trail. Photo: Natalie Menacho
CBDT 610
Making a detour around the bridge, south of Three Forks. Photo: Gregory McDonald

Just past the hamlet of Three Forks there’s a dispersed campsite looking over Clover Gulch. The sites were maybe 20 or 30 yards off the road. While searching online, unsuccessfully, for the name of the campsite, I found this interesting description, on the Bigfoot Field Researchers Organization website, of one couple’s experience there. We stopped but both Greg and Natalie weren’t feeling it, so we pushed on.

After the CBDT turned north again, we found an unmarked spur road, a left turn, just north of where 27N13 comes in from the left. It descended fairly steeply down a wooded slope, into tight underbrush that scraped along the side of the trucks. At one point I had to get out and chop down a small, dead tree that had leaned out into the trail.

At its end, the spur opened up into a small, flat clearing with enough room for both trucks, our tents, and camp table. We looked around. The ground was covered with coyote and bear tracks, and rabbit droppings. Natalie spotted a hare a few yards away before it dashed off. In a couple of spots on the edge of the clearing, the grass was matted down, as if a bear had been spending the night. (The bear scat tipped us off). Despite the heavy wildlife traffic, or perhaps because of it, the place felt right and we set up camp.

CBDT 617
Our campsite north of 27N13. Photo: Gregory McDonald
CBDT 621
Despite the heavy wildlife traffic, Greg sticks with his minimalist tent setup. Photo: Gregory McDonald
CBDT 628
And we stick with our "maximalist" arrangement. Photo: Gregory McDonald
CBDT 626
Natalie likes our big new tent. She also had the good idea of using the truck's floor mats as door mats. Photo: Gregory McDonald
CBDT 623
Our camp for the night. Photo: Gregory McDonald
We set up a couple of lanterns at opposite ends of the camp to let all of the animals know we were there for the night. Photo: Gregory McDonald
After dinner we entertained ourselves playing with the long exposure setting on Natalie's camera.
Greg made this super-cool shot by swinging his lantern. Photo: Natalie Menacho
I just held the light in my hands... Photo: Natalie Menacho
...and logged the day's proceedings. Photo: Natalie Menacho


CBDT Notes:

From Ruth Lake to our campsite north of 27N13 CBDT was about 28 miles of easy dirt and pavement.

Travel time: With various stops it took 2.5 hours.


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CBDT, Part 1: Lake Pillsbury
CBDT, Part 2: Dead Deer, Live Deer, Eel River Work Station
CBDT, Part 3: What’s up Watts Lake?
CBDT, Part 4: Ruth Lake, Jewel of the Middle of Nowhere
CBDT, Part 5: Bear Den, Coyote Tracks, Camp Site
CBDT, Part 6: Best Campsite Ever
CBDT, Part 7: Obviously Not Bigfoot