This is Black Butte, taken directly off Core of Engineer's boards. So this is gosple.
BuckHorn is marked with a red star, on the top left of the Lake.
Orland Buttes is on the bottom on the right.
As you can see, camping is only at these two places.
As well as campfires, boat launches, dump stations, and showers.
This is BuckHorn Forestry Campground.
BuckHorn is on the west side of Black Butte Lake.
The GPS view shows the far end of the campground (main campground). And at the dump station.
GPS Coordinates: 39°:48:44 N; 122°:21:55 W
GPS Coordinates: 39.8122° N; 122.365° W
Or, if you did not want to go to the Dump Station, the main loop is just over "there", about
two hundred feet.
The other campground is on the other side of the lake: Orland Buttes.
It is nice too.
This is probably the last day of the year that one can visit Black Butte
without the 90° degree temperatures.
Last week two high heat records were set in Northern California.
However, I and the two woofers have spent three days here in beautiful weather,
unusual for May.
The cool breeze comes off the lake towards us.
The overcast sky teases us with a little rain. "Teases", because the rain evaporates before hitting the ground.
And it is too late anyway for the grass; as you can see the grass is already dry.
We are set to enjoying a few days in 70°F degree weather with a few white cumulus clouds
mixed into a pleasant and changing overcast sky.
This will probably be the last "good" time here
until Nov or Dec.
The weatherman was right: The storm would bring the temperatures out of the
90°s and into the 70°s. That is why we are here.
Linda did not want to come to such a "deserted" area, even on the best of days.
To the untrained eye, it is just a boring lake and dry fields.
But, from my eye, it is a perfect place to get out of the house.
Black Butte is only 30 minutes away. It is convenient!
And - most importantly - it is beautiful, even in yellow.
So, on this simple trip, it is just me and the two woofers. No dishes, no problems.
There is not too many girl things here, except for perhaps, just socializing with the neighbors.
She is right: There are no malls or stores; Not even a meager concession store.
There may be no "anything" here.
However, for me and the two "woofers", it's everything.
The woofers tell me when and where to go. And they do really know!
They seem to know when the time is right to go exploring.
They spontaneously spring to life,
and both start urgently tapping me with their paws, and with soft begging cries.
As the doggies glance back and forth at each other,
the energy feeds from Callie to Lexy and back again.
Yes indeed. They are in agreement: we need to go for
a walk! With two pairs of black eyes looking at me, how can I say no?
And further, once under way, they know
exactly where to go. There are so many trails, and so many lefts and rights to choose from.
The doggies deal with the dilemma with just shear extra excitement.
For me, it is simple: out the door, and off we go. At Black Butte, no one needs a reason.
Maturity is one thing I have over the two woofers. Somebody has to have it; it might as well be me.
This area is part of the West Coast Flyway, there
are migrating ducks and geese, and there are storks, owls, doves, killdeers,
and several other birds. As you walk along the rocky beaches,
flocks of gulls and killdeers will take flight in front of you,
only to regather and land behind you.
There are also coyotes baying at night. And I heard them every night.
So keep your pets near to you, and do not let them wander alone.
I lost a poodle dog, some years back, to coyotes this way.
The coyotes will call and lure them away. And then strike!
On a small dog, a coyote will grab the backbone near the shoulders, and shake vilently.
This breaks the neck, and your precious dog will be gone in less than one second.
I hate to be so discriptive, but it can happen. It happened to me.
I took these pictures in April and May, north of Black Butte at Tuscan.
I used a telephoto with old style Kodachrome film. There are plenty of coyotes at Black Butte.
Coyotes use a trick to call and tease your dogs.
Some dogs do not have any brains at all, and fall for this low-down trick.
The idea is to lure them away from you.
If your small dog is a party animal and likes to socialize,
then he will be literally the "lunch", even if it is not tauted as a luncheon affair.
They are on the menu.
You can see the lake through all the windows except one.
Getting back to what is in the RV...
We have a head of Cabbage, several Sweet Potatoes, and enough Dog Food for several days.
We have more than a half dozen bottles of cold Tea, and several spring Waters.
We have 42 gallons of (hot) Fresh Water at 85°F degrees, and the temperature is still rising.
The temperature is an automatic function of my 60 gallon tank,
and my special solar water heater.
We have 6 gallons of hot water in the Hot Water Tank,
at any selectable temperature above the 60 gallon
tank temperature, which is, at present, 85°F degrees.
We have two McDonnalds Hamburgers, and one Moca Frappe in the refrigerator.
These are a must! ...If you hate camping as I do.
One tray of Ice, rock hard, which I probable won't use.
And all kinds of Canned Stuff: stews, soups, and vegetables.
Which I probably won't use because I have my Moca Frappe,
which I have previously mentioned.
What more could you ask for!
I see, my wife forgot to put in any clothes.
No pants. No shirts. Nothing!
Well, she did say there was nothing here.
She said that over and over.
I didn't know she was talking about my clothes!
What a prophet!
However, one of the drawers is not empty; It has three socks in it.
But that will be just fine. Three socks is all I need for clothes.
At Black Butte, at least at this time of year, you can just leave the door open, without the screen. There were no mosquitoes at all.
Not a one!
I was given some Carpet Samples, and they work great for the doggies to set and watch from.
The Carpet Samples are thrown all over on the inside, but you can place a couple outside
too for shoes or woofers.
Dirt from their paws stays on a carpet sample, and is then just shaken off...
In an RV, they are "collectors", and it is nice to know where your dirt is.
If the dirt does not easily shake off, then the carpet is history. Throw it away.
As you can see, I don't care about the carpet color.
I was given a bunch of pastel colors, light greens, browns, and golds.
Some swag, and some dense in different pile thickness. It does not matter.
The samples come in three sizes at your carpet store.
You can appreciate Carpet Samples if a vacuum cleaner is not in your RV.
Somebody forgot to bring any leashes for the dogs, so I made a couple out of some battery straps.
These worked great for all the days.
I don't know what kind of green snake this is, but
the ranger told me that he has already killed two rattle snakes so far this year.
The dogs and I have been walking plenty the last few days, and I am sure rattle snakes have
seen us but I am also sure that I have not seen any of them.
I keep the dogs out of the grass because of ticks too. I have seen lots of deer, and
they are real tame, wandering close to the trailer.
Although I have seen ticks on another trip here at Black Butte, I have not seen a single tick
on any of my dogs this time.
Lots of birds and a few squirrels.
These red headed things have got me worried.
I have seen plenty of heavy oak limbs fall out
of oak trees for no good reason.
My trailer is right under one of these oak trees.
These red headed things are "thumping" away, loud every day, and
are working hard on my tree. And I am parked under it!
BuckHorn has a dump station.
GPS Coordinates: 39:48:44 N; 122:21:55 W
GPS Coordinates: 39.8122° N; 122.365° W
This was a great getaway. And it is only ten bucks, ...that is, if you are old.
Both BuckHorn and Orland Buttes are Federal Lands.
Federal lands can be:
US Army Corps of Engineers,
The Forest Service,
the National Park Service,
Fish and Wildlife Service,
Bureau of Land Management,
and Bureau of Reclamation.
Such agencies support "America the beautiful" and give discounts for age and disabilities.
I sure like Black Butte. There are no problems. No problems at all.
Except, everyone is old here. Or at least some look old.
One way to tell:
The old have fishing poles in their boats, and the young have skies in their boats.
Young and old alike, cook bacon in the mornings,
gather and talk in the evenings, and most have a happy, tail wagging dog.
At every site that I go to, I like to note if there is cell coverage...
Cell coverage is great here! No problem. There are "full-bars" for signal strength.
If I wanted, I could even leave the cell phone turned on.
But why would one want to do that?
Also, I like to note TV channels...
There are plenty of TV channels.
The channels come from the north
at Shasta Bally, Redding, and Cohasset.
About 20 channels, all of the 7s, 9s, 12s, and 15s.
And many 20s, and the 30.
Some in 1080 HD.
But to be fare, I do not have the old style Winegaurd.
I threw away the original RV antenna.
VHF antennas are no longer used.
Instead, I have a small UHF antenna, which also does not obstruct my solar panels so bad.
I have a compass, mounted upside down, on the ceiling.
Actually, the mount is still upside right due to the needle support bearing.
But the view is from underneath through clear plastic.
The compass is mounted next to the antenna crank-up.
Conveniently, I can tell the direction of the antenna
without going outside.
Also, by noting the direction of the white end of the compass,
which is the South, I can tell the mid arc of the sun, and the highest point of the sun.
The white South end helps in predicting shadows on the solar panels.
The East and West
point to approximately sunrise and sunset.
Mentally, I could add about 15° degrees to go from
Magnetic to True, but it is never important.
After glancing at the ceiling, I step outside,
stretch out my arms from my sides, with my left hand pointing to the East,
and my right hand pointing to the West, and say: "Today, the sun will go from there to there.".
And looking straight ahead, in the direction of the white needle, is where most of the electricity will be generated.
My little compass on the ceiling by the rotor, is the handiest thing...
Soon the pavement at Black Butte will shimmer with heat waves, the pavement too hot to touch,
the air too hot to breathe.
The temperature will be solidly in the 90°s, and some days over 100°F degrees,
and continuously, day after day, for many weeks.
No relief - ever - from a Black Butte sun,
under it's unchanging, tear watering, hazy sky.
Truly, a long hot summer.
The nights are no help in cooling down a trailer. The nights are in the 80°s.
Therefore, the inside of the RV will never be any cooler than the night time temperature.
Be better to sleep out on the lake in a row boat than in a hot trailer.
Plan on placing your RV down wind of cool lake breezes
coming off the lake.
If you can feel the coolness come and go, then you are placed in the right zone.
All and all, yellow is a good color. Can't wait for the next trip.
Second trip: 2013.09.19
This is a different time: September.
Here is where Lexy, Callie, and I decided to set up camp.
Summer is not over, but it is supposed to rain. So here we are.
We gotta see this...
This is my second spot that I selected. The first had some dangerous overhanging limbs.
But this spot, as you can see,
is not level.
I need to buy some wheel chucks. I had to use a rock behind the wheels. Sure would hate to have to tell the ranger where
my trailer went.
I predicted where the moon would rise. ...Just add 17 degrees ccw to obtain True. Then watch for the moon to rise on the East direction.
Near the two equinoxes, the sun will track the same as the moon. ...So I know what to expect in the morning. For now, I need to know about the tree limbs overhead, because that track will determine my solar power.
Here is the view from "my front yard".
Unlike the last visit here in early May, there are no ducks or geese, just a few killdeers and vultures.
The only thing on the lake is a wind surfer with a bright red sail,
and a sky boat pulling an innertube.
And their faint sounds from off the lake come and go,
as if from a strange garbled place, somewhere far off in the distance.
The long summer heat seems to have vanquished most of the natural social life here, especially bird life.
No more quacking and chattering. No more squabbling. No more glee.
There are remnants however: here is a lonely flyer in an endless search.
The black ones, silently gliding back and forth. But all in vain! Everything is gone.
With solemn, red, and barren heads, they oversee nothing, and oversee it again.
Just empty glances without a word spoken.
The whole area, still and lonely now, is suspended in a golden brown slumber.
Clouds are coming in, and laying shadows on the hillsides.
I thought this place was yellow during my last visit, but now I know it is a special "yellow",
and a long lasting stubborn one.
All I can see is a golden brown, all around.
You must see this!
The Great Painter has chosen a golden canvas.
And now, here is a golden canvas with highlights.
Amongst all the golden color is a sole barbeque. Most sites have an upright barbeque.
And some have a water spigot.
There are several rock bluffs.
This Gaia Wind generator is not working.
So sad, because it is completed and ready to go.
Here is what I know about it:
As you can see, blades are downwind and do not face into the wind.
The blades are folded back for better direction control.
There is no tail fin. That is a anemometer out in front.
Gaia is based and manufactured out of Scotland and invented in Denmark.
It has a 40 ft blade, very long for only a 11 kw unit.
But, this is a good thing. This turbine generator operates, and is rated, in low wind speeds.
It has an honest and realistic average wind speed arena, for example 10 mph - Not 30!.
The blades turn at a constant 56 rpm.
At an RV park like Black Butte, I appreciate the slow tip speed: that makes it silent.
Of course, that is if it were running - Which it is not.
Also at an RV park, and as you can see, it has a shiny hollow tubular tower. It looks good.
I don't like cables, and guys, and ugly open towers, at least not in a nature setting.
I have spent 35 years around guyed towers. I know for a fact that guy cables kill birds, ducks,
and geese. Usually at night. A goose has to be blind to not see this big shiny pole.
The pole is 90 ft tall.
I am absolutely sure it is safe.
Birds are not programed to see a thin deadly cable, slanting sideways, in the sky.
But birds, after millions of years,
are accustomed to seeing tree trunks, especially vertical ones. By instinct, they know those.
And the blade is fairly safe too, turning at less than one rev/sec.
...That is, if it were turning, which they are not.
From my engineering perspective, the park (Army Corps of Engineers) has done their homework,
and done it right!
Gaia 11 kw Grid Wind Gen Turbine
It looks like four large springs at the hub for feathering, but I am not sure of that.
But all gens in general have both a passive stall from the blades, and also a large brake disk.
In addition, all gens have automatic load, in this case Grid, disconnects to prevent overheating.
The blades are fiberglass, and according to literature, begin operation at 5.6 mph.
It looks like "spoilers" on the side of the blades which would be a centrifugal brake.
Clearly, this thing is well designed.
Gaila's literature claims no failures of the gearbox or blades in 20 years.
The BuckHorn Turbine has been tested and certified and ready for operation, but politics have prevented it from
joining PG&E's grid. I should not say which politicians have stopped the project, because it is hearsay.
I am an Engineer, and this is not the first time that I have heard
that politics have smashed good work.
Politicians are no more than a bunch of clucking chickens in a hen house, and have no business discussing
real or physical issues. Their discussions should remain in Women's Vanity Fair.
Engineers, by nature, are truly movers and shakers,
and politicians relentlessly follow them around to impede them
and gain vitality from their sorrowful parasitic life.
Vicariously, politicians have an unfulfilled need to be part of a scientific picture.
I must get back to the RV and take my blood pressure pill...
These scenes are typical; minus the dogs...
I allowed both dogs to drink the water. There never has been a problem with dysentery at BuckHorn.
Water is good. I see no reason for me to personally test it;
The dogs have drank plenty. It's good.
Found a new type of "tarweed".
It is a aromatic, but smells different from the Bluecurls and the TarWeed, which smell identical.
Here is a picture of the two that I had previously known:
the one with yellow flowers (TarWeed),and the
one with blue flowers (BlueCurls.
These two smell almost identical, even though they are from different families.
Black Butte has a lot of good looking rocks.
A lot of Jasper.
Last night this thing could have landed on my space!
No rot, just a bad growing angle on the trunk.
I knew this was going to happen, and I originally passed up a good spot
because I did not like the look of the branches. And oaks can bust, split, or fall even in no wind.
Always a hard call.
The lake has turned choppy. The waves look as white as snow...
Last night the winds were rocking the trailer.
Loved the lightning and thunder, and the sound of rain on the roof.
Looks like the wind was also drumming up some large waves here at BlackButte.
This is a great place!
This is why we came; And we are not disappointed.
The weather forecast was rain today. But no rain.
From 60% chance to zero percent in one day.
My Momma could forecast better than this!
Sun is rising further to the south, than when we were here last.
The north end of the lake is dry. You can walk clear across the lake here to the other side.
I took a bottle of water, and along the way poured a little into my hand for the doggies.
There are plenty of stagnant pools where I don't trust the water for the dogs to drink.
Took two hours to get across, and there was no shade anywhere.
The water bottle started out full and heavy in my back pocket, but on the way back it was as light as a feather.
I wish my pants were still weighted down with that sloshing water.
Because now we drank our bottled water dry,
and as you can see from Woofie's parched tongue, Woofie could truly use a little more.
The boat dock is dry.
A warning sign is posted at the front gate: "The boat ramp is unusable."
However, I believe you can still launch your boat on the other side of the lake - at Orland.
I was here three days in November, and saw absolutely no one on the lake, or what was left of it.
My neighbor, with a motor home, has a red canoe mounted on top. He can launch anywhere.
A new thistle for me.
Raccoons travel a long way out unto the lake and back again.
There are small fish trapped in the pools.
Coyotes are here.
At the extreme end, there acres of CockerBurrs in different stages of development depending
on the state of the mud.
I don't know what this is. Some sort of red algae or lichen.
There are many isolated pools and longer steamlike portions.
Bands of feathers in the mud mark where and when a bird has died.
A large carp lies alive on his side, resigned to hopeless struggle,
and flapping a gill fin in the open air.
I wonder if the lake is depleted of oxygen.
Once off the lake, the walking is easier along many pleasant trails.
Temperatures are in the high seventies, and if in the sun, it feels really hot.
Nights are cold: 47F degrees. And the cold nights come on fast.
I accidently fell asleep with two windows open, and woke up freezing.
Starting the year to see how low the lake is, and also to see one of my sensors.
Looks really low from inside my trailer.
One of the reasons that I came was to see how much my Solar Sensor reads at,
and after sunset.
And indeed, continues to read for about a half hour after sunset.
My Solar Sensor starts to read about 20 minutes before sun rise at 0.1%.
This is about the same time as the stars go away.
Sun Rise Measurement
The sun is 7/8 exposed here. And the reading is 1.5% and changing fast.
Also the sun is blocked by haze and trees, as you can see.
The true reading is probably closer
This is the time of First Sun. Sense my sensor is horizontal and the sun is also horizontal,
the sensor is seeing more of sky light than direct exposure at this time.
The same is true before sunrise and after sunset.
When the sensor says 1.5% the solar panels are producing, coincidently, .15 Amps. Perfect, dead on!
You can also see other readings:
My fresh water is 44% full.
And the 50 watt panel is producing 16.79 volts unloaded.
A small plane was practicing touch-and-goes.
Some kind of yellow finches.
The Head Honcho is trying to figure out how to turn the handle with half of it gone.
My neighbor had to use my faucet - without the yellow finches - to fill his rig because there is no water at the Dump Station.
And what is more disturbing is that there is no dumping at the Dump Station either.
Both are "down".
We do not know if it is a seasonal thing or a temporary problem. ... Still a bummer.
You might keep it in mind.
The lake is even lower than last time I was here.
You have to carry your boat all the way from the end of the dock to the water;
And that is about where I am standing, and that is a monumental task...
Callie looking at a calm spot on the lake.
The breeze leaves impressions on the water, like roving foot prints of wind traveling acrose the lake.
You can just make out the visitor fence on top of the bluffs.
You do not normally see this sight unless you have a boat. Here is the Dam from the back side.
I and the two woofers just walked out unto an exposed jetty of land, and took this picture.
This lake is dry!
This is January and there has been no rain all summer.
Second worst in history.
It is 2014.05.08: early May.
A lot of green. What a scene! Green, green, green, all around.
And the water level is super high; so high that the water is in the grass of the shoreline.
Poor Callie, she wants to have fun too. But there was a turkey out by the table,
and I wanted a picture without her help.
This is a hen, but there is a male somewhere too. I heard it early this morning before light.
A small band of Coots are blown by the wind into the shore.
There was no rain at all last year, And a small amount this year in March of 2014.
But the lake is overflowing. The water is coming from Stony Creek, and it is a great idea because
now the wild life is overflowing too.
Thanks to Stony Creek and other inflows, and thanks to a little rain.
Mourning Doves make a pleasant sound just above the trailer in a blue oak.
They begin cooing at 5 in the morning, and flutter around playing tag all day.
Theirs is not the only sounds. They have to compete with noisy woodpeckers, finches, and feisty sparrows.
This is how it looks inside my trailer at night. I have no generator. This is all solar.
I have all kinds of LED lights: green, blue, red, white, and they work great and conserve energy.
Lush growth everywhere in the water, as well as a water dog.
You really have to check out the west side of the lake...
Burris Creek side...
American White Pelicans flying in the Burris wetlands.
From the camp site and from my chair in front of the RV, you can occasionally see
a lonely group of two or three flying out across the vast lake.
Unlike this side of the lake, they appear as just tiny white specks flying far out over the lake.
The canadian geese are big. But the White Pelicans are bigger. Really bigger!
Obviously friends, and equally obvious is that you have to be big to belong to the group.
There are acres and acres of this beautiful vetch.
On a sad note...
A young boy, about four, was struck by a small rattle snake yesterday. He was walking at the edge of the
road near some rocks, when he was bitten. He was treated at the scene, and is ok.
We arrived 2014.09.23 and the little ones are anxious to get a start.
This one is a spike.
I counted 10 in this one group.
Another group had a lone coyote right in the middle of them. Nobody seemed concerned.
The promise of rain...
Most unusual small ants: When they bite they leave a small whelp, similar to a musketo byte. The bite itches for two days as if poison oak.
You can see some have wings. Late in the evening about 17:00.
Tiny, tiny things for such a strong bite.
Insects take cover from the wind.
Don't count on any WiFi. I picked up a couple, but I am sure they are private, and who knows how far away.
But TV channels are good and strong. Point your antenna North.
It is finally running!
The turbine is turning. I was wrong about the sound of the blades: You can hear them make a swush sound if you near.
The picture is taken at the boat launch, which is between two large parking lots.
Black Butte has plenty of room to leave your truck and boat trailer.
Right off the bat, the little woofers will not wait for me. They are not even looking back for me. They are gone!
Cell phones have two cameras, and can shot forwards or backwards.
If you can not see in the bright sun,
cell phones with their camera setup can trick you and get YOU.
I am trying to get a picture, kinda under the trailer, of the sewage system, and this happened:
I got me instead.
This is what I was aiming at: the clear insert thing that you put into the sewage line.
I was trying to get a picture of the disgusting stuff when the camera shot backwards.
Now the picture only has the clear stuff from the Gray Tank and not the Black Tank.
Maybe just as well...
Originally, I set out to show you of a wonderful device:
A clear section of sewer line in the form of a rigid insert.
Despite the camera's refusal to take the picture,
I still say it is a good practical product,
although working with a disgusting subject.
This product will let you see when your tanks are really empty.
Stumps and dead trees struggle in the water, amongst golden hills highlighted by an overcast sky.
Last night the winds were an unbelievable steady 50 MPH coming off the lake,
and they were coming directly toward me.
My trailer was the closest of all RVs, space 11, to the unobstructed lake.
And, to make matters worse, my trailer was broadside to the winds.
My trailer rocked like never before.
And, further, I was on a slight hill which concentrated the wind.
And, also, I had no stabilizers down; The trailer sat on rubber tires and springs.
It was a ride.
I was in wonder at the shaking and howling, and was quite enjoying it,
but Callie was starring at the walls and door in fear of some kind of doom.
I could barely shut the door. It had about 60 to 80 lbs of force against it.
I did not dare to let go of it: It would be ripped away and gone for sure.
Then there was the moment when Callie had to go pee. I knew this was going to be a challenge.
She has never felt winds like this, so strong that she could not walk.
Her hair was greased back like long stringy moss in a stream. And she has short hair.
The wind stretched her eyes into two thin slits with hair neatly combed straight back and over her forehead.
I had to help pull her with the leash, as she could make no progress.
She was about to be blown away.
I could hardly stand either.
The wind was rattling through my shirt, and in the cold and darkness it was trying to tear it off.
There was a oak tree with a large trunk about 30 feet from the RV; that became my objective.
On the lee side, it sheltered Callie just enough so that she could pee.
What a time to persevere and still take care of business! Good doggie!
And for once in her life she did not want to sniff around.
With job done, she fought the wind hard to get directly back to the RV. Me too.
As well as the wind, last night it also rained, and it was a fast hard rain.
And now in the afternoon you can see the remnants of the rain.
What remains is rain falling to the North in silent dark columns.
It was such a violent storm to be marching away so peaceably.
Forget about my hair; it is 8:30 in the morning.
I want to show you what is coming across the lake.
Look, it is fog! Beautiful fog is coming across the lake.
But maybe I should not be telling you about all this beautiful stuff at Black Butte;
After all, I may find you in my spot. Decretion is needed here to keep my spot.
Perhaps after a little better reflection on the matter, I should keep Black Butte a secret.