Thursday, October 25, 2007

Mother McCloud Doesn't Live Here Anymore

We picked a great day to visit the McCloud area. The day was sunny and bright with no wind. Our first stop was the old company town (1897) of the McCloud River Lumber Company. This was a town totally built to sustain the lumber company, dubbed, Mother McCloud, for the forced dependency of the employees on the company. It prospered for many years until advances in the lumber industry outpaced it. Newer tools and equipment and better practices of timber cutting led to the decline of the industry in McCloud. It would be a ghost town if not for the sheer tenacity of folks who continued to pursue logging. A much smaller company operated until 2002. Now there is talk of the industry of bottled water. McCloud is also positioning itself as a vacation town, a tourist destination.

We really enjoyed our walk along the McCloud River Trail. We began in the lower falls and followed along the river to the upper. The middle falls is the biggest. The upper is small but falls from a greater height. Though some of the trail follows the water's edge, most of it is along a high ridge. It is a moderate hike that took about an hour each way.

Allison and I located two letterboxes hidden in the park. At the end of the trail we picnicked in the shade and the roar of the waterfall. Robert fell asleep in the pine needles. I watched the chipmunks scurry around him and thought how much he looked like a sleeping Gulliver. Allison busied herself building a chipmunk town with broken twigs and pine cones and I thought she looked like a kid should look: at one with nature.

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