Say hello to Libby Fife! She has graciously come on board as a guest blogger who hails from Calaveras County. Libby has been with us almost from the start. She grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area like we did and she moved to the foothills a number of years ago also like we did. Libby is a fine art artist, her contemporary collage paintings combine elements of traditional painting with the medium of collage to produce a unique synthesis of contemporary geometric abstract art. By utilizing the simple elements of line, shape and color, it is possible to express what are at times abstract ideas about the land, environment, and other, more personal interests. At the same time, the universal nature of the geometric shapes and colors allows viewers to freely engage with each piece and to put their own individual spin on things, connecting with each work in a unique way. See her work here – http://www.libbyfife.com
Libby is also an outdoor enthusiast, hiking, biking, enjoying the great outdoors. So come along with Libby on her adventures as we bring them to you starting with –
Biking for Beginners at New Hogan Lake
“It’s been awhile since I have shared where I am on any given day of the week. Much of my mornings are spent at New Hogan Lake (or just plain Hogan). Normally, I am a walker or hiker but today it was all about biking. Biking is a great activity for Hogan especially as the weather starts to heat up. And it is a great place for beginning bikers since the trails aren’t too long and aren’t terribly “hilly.” For those interested, I thought I would share what I do to have a good time biking at Hogan. Let’s get started!”
My favorite place to park is at Wrinkle Cove. It’s ideally situated in the middle of the long Cameron Trail which runs, end to end, about 3 miles. If you do the entire route in a loop it is about 6 miles, give or take, and is the perfect distance for someone who hasn’t biked in awhile or maybe a family with smaller children. (You can start too from the Observation Point parking lot which is where the admin. office is-they have very nice bathrooms also with flush toilets-yippee!)
The first pic shows a view of the lake from the parking lot. People also launch their kayaks from this spot. As you ride your bike across the parking lot and hop on the trail, you will notice that the trail is comprised of small rocks and dirt (see pic 3). It’s why your bike should have the medium sized tires-not a road bike or a mountain bike but somewhere in the middle. And be careful! Don’t go too fast since the trail is shared by walkers and people with their dogs. Best to have a bell on the handlebars. Along the way you will see lots of oak trees of course and the occasional pine tree. The grasses right now are a mix of green and gold, leaning towards the golden color that is so “California.” There are even some wildflowers still hanging around (see pic 4). Be sure to look for the “tombstone” style rocks (pic 5) which are so abundant in the foothills. This article describes what these rocks are and is worth a read.
Once you reach the end of this small trail, you can turn around and head back towards the parking lot. Hop back onto the longer section of the Cameron Trail and head towards Inspiration Point and Park Headquarters. There is one steep hill towards the end and I am not ashamed to say that I get off my bike to walk up that hill. Other than that the trail has some fun curves, longer stretches and some very manageable short hills. Be sure to stop for a look at the view-the lake is visible from all points (see pic 6). You could stop at the top to have a picnic (there are some tables in the shade) or find another spot in the park. There are many areas that have picnic tables that are only a short walk from your car (Fiddleneck Boat Launch area). More biking can be done throughout the actual campgrounds. The paths are paved and meant for cars so they are easy on the tires. (There are also restrooms there with flush toilets.)