It was the 4th of July weekend, and we always planned a BBQ. We stepped it up a notch this year and planned a camping trip, too. We had the big group site reserved at the South Fork Campground and we planned on two nights there and three days of wheeling miles. A few members ended up with vehicles in shops, and only Bill and Monica were planning on camping. Matt would join us for this day of wheeling, making it a small group of three Jeeps.
We met in Downieville, and the trailhead just outside of Fraser was just a short distance away. We found the trailhead but missed a turn right off the bat, so we had to backtrack a little. It still wasn't long before we were at the seasonal gate. The whole area was closed over the winter, and we would find out why soon enough.
Keyser Creek is easy and it connects you to a lot of other trails, much like Shrine Pass. There were lots of big, healthy, green pine trees with open spaces of lush meadows. It really didn't look like we were in a drought.
We made it to Rocky Point pretty quickly, and we did that trail when we got there. The loop was quick, and we were soon back on Keyser Creek. Then we did Little Muddy Creek and Blue Ridge to make a bigger loop back to the main trail. We did Cook Creek Rim last and by late afternoon we were at the west end of Keyser Creek.
We had talked about doing Kinney Creek, a trail south of the west end of Keyser Creek, but it was getting late. Matt aired up when we got to the end of the trail while Bill and Monica headed south to the campground.
The campground was fairly empty, especially for the 4th of July weekend. We set up our tents and we were having dinner while the sun was still up. It had been cloudy and it was still overcast, but it didn't rain on our meal. We hung out by our huge fire pit after dark, enjoying the warm fire.
That night, temperatures got down to 48 degrees. It rained off and on, and sometimes it poured. There were bouts of lightning and thunder, too. We didn't see any evidence of bears. No one got much sleep, but we still enjoyed the campsite.