MIDDLE CREEK OUTING REPORT: by Paul Boettin
I arrived at the Middle Creek campground Thursday afternoon at 1 pm. Later, a little after 3pm, Robin, Glenda & Ruby arrived to join me as the only two rigs to show up for this event. When I first joined TBSA back in the year 2000, Middle Creek was my very first outing with the club. Remarkably, this trip would be my first time back after all these years. Not really sure why it took so long to return, but I'm sure glad I did this time. After all the recent record rainfall we've had lately, I was expecting to find washed out and muddy conditions. Surprisingly, we were treated to almost perfect riding conditions. The weather was both cloudy and sunny with mild daytime temperatures.
On Friday, Robin lead me on a ride heading up Sled Ridge then catching several trails east of Elk Mountain Road until we were at the northern end of the riding area. From there we took the M1, arriving at Lake Pillsbury where we found a nice picnic area for lunch. After lunch we headed back down the M1 and then connected to more trails, this time on the west side Elk Mountain Road then connecting again to Sled Ridge down to camp completing our loop. Our odometers read 63 miles.
On Saturday, we decided to just go for a short ride. Robin lead me again on a 25-mile loop heading up the ridge again. Half-way up we made a right heading for the Deer Valley Campground. From there, we went left, winding up at Penny Pines and then back down to camp, completing our loop.
After our ride, while sitting in camp having a beer, a sheriff rescue helicopter came in and landed in the dry portion of the river bottom. Someone up on the mountain in a remote area was injured with a severe broken leg. With the pilot at the controls, two deputies got out and attached a long line from the helicopter to one of the deputies. The helicopter took off, heading up the canyon and over the ridge with the one deputy attached as the other stayed on the ground. After about 25 minutes, the helicopter returned back with the deputy, the injured rider and also a paramedic who had reached the injured rider on foot. All three were hanging from the long line and placed back gently on the ground right next to an awaiting ambulance. We had a front row seat.
After all the excitement we got cleaned up and decided to go out to dinner. Robin and Glenda took me to the Boathouse Bar in Upper Lake, where we had a great dinner. Ruby waited patiently for our return in the truck. From there, of course, we had to go to Fosters for ice cream.
I left for home Sunday morning and the Baumgarts were scheduled to return home on Monday.