Monday, October 20, 2008

The last couple of months I've taken the time to go back through most of my pictures from hiking trips with Russell and friends. It has brought back many nice memories of Russell and the great times we had exploring the North Fork. Catherine was also part of many of those trips and she kindly has shared some of her pictures from some of those hikes and others with Russell. Catherine has many nice photos and I will post a few here for her(don't want to overload you too much). I think I've figured out where most of these pictures were taken.

With Gus and Greg on Big Granite Creek.

Deep in Giant Gap on the HOUT. Love the two differing expressions.

Along the HOUT. Hmmm, what were they thinking? One of them is using the wrong arm.

Always curious.

Hauling garbage out of Green Valley. I wonder how much garbage this man hauled out of the canyon in his life.

On the Pinnacle Ridge of Giant Gap with Lovers Leap in background.

One of the big cedars in Four Horse Flat along the Big Granite Trail. One of my favorites, just love that smile.

Thanks Catherine, I've really enjoyed looking at your pictures.


Preparing for the Multi-Media Tribute, Oct. 11

Chris Towle, Gay Wiseman, Ron Gould, Ralph Little, Carol Towle, Janet Creelman, brother Richard Towle, and sister Karen Mingst with many, many others.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Links to the Fiskars posts ...

on the "in the Fiskars Garden" blog:

  A Very Special Inquiry
  Russell Towle at Canyon Creek with his Fiskars Loppers

Fiskars donated twenty loppers - all of them were given out during the tribute weekend as an incentive for a US $100.00 membership in the North Fork American River Alliance (NFARA).

The engraving on the loppers was originally proposed as:
  "Less lip, more lop! In memory of Russell Towle, 2008".

The engraving ended up as:
  "Veni, Vidi, Recidi - Russell Towle 2008 - NFARA".

Which translates to "I Came, I Saw, I Lopped".

Thanks to my sister Shellie for the picture below:

A link to the tribute by Stephen Wolfram ...

Monday, October 13, 2008

I first met Russell in January of 2003 after being on his North Fork Trail email list for a few months. For me it was the start of an incredible journey exploring this fabulous canyon we call the North Fork. With Russell leading the way with his vast knowledge of the North Fork's trails, history, geology and more, it was like I had jumped aboard the North Fork Express. I'm amazed at how much of the North Fork I visited with Russell in such a short time. There is no need in me trying to tell you about these great adventures as Russell has chronicled them well on his blog.

Exploring and hiking the High Old Upriver Trail through Giant Gap was one of the adventures I really enjoyed. Many long day hikes in and out of the canyon to find, follow and clear more of this incredible route through Giant Gap. Here is Russell at the tunnel through the spur ridge of Lovers Leap. The other end of the tunnel opens out onto the shear wall of a gully.

Here is Russell, with his trusty Fiskars loppers (and Lucky!), at the blasted out overhang along the route.

It was amazing that Lucky follow us all the way to the point where a little climbing was required.

Russell was obsessed with the waterfall in New York Canyon. He did nine hikes trying to see and seeing this tall waterfall tucked in New York Canyon, I accompanied him of 2 or 3 of these hikes. Here is Russell when we approached the fall from the river on our April 2004 trip down the Royal Gorge.

The previous year we had done a trip into the Royal Gorge with Greg. Here are Russell and Greg at one of the waterfalls.

This was a neat little place to visit. Russell had been tipped off about this place by a friend that called it the “Railroad in the Sky Mine”. After Russell made a trip out to see it he called me as would sometimes do saying “Ron! You just got to see this!”. Thanks Steve!

With Catherine on the Tadpole Cliffs above the Iowa Hill Ditch.

In Big Valley.

Truly some of my best hiking experiences have been hiking and exploring the North Fork with Russell. I miss him dearly.

[posted by Ron Gould]

Friday, October 10, 2008

Saturday Breakfast in Dutch Flat

Just to let everyone know, the Methodist Church in Dutch Flat is hosting a fabulous pancake breakfast from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. The church is directly accross the street from the Dutch Flat Community Center, where the "hikers" are meeting at 9:00 a.m. The cost is only $5.00, so we'll see you there! Also, the "Art Center" will be "open" shortly after 9:00 a.m., so if you're around c'mon in and hang out. Can't wait to meet everyone! Shellie

Monday, October 6, 2008

Summer, 2002

My family gets to visit Dutch Flat occassionally, for Thanksgiving or for short visits on our way to the High Sierras with my dad. We would often see and do things with Russ and his kids. In the summer of 2002, we stopped over for a few days and Russ took us exploring near my aunt and uncle's house where we peeked into an old hand-dug gold mine and tramped over hills that had scatterings of petrified wood and remnants of Chinese diggings. The highlight, by far, was the trip to Smart's Crossing, I think it was called, to pan for gold....After a hairy drive down a narrow, semi-washed out dirt road and down a narrow trail, we came to a pristine, cold stream. It was a hot day and all the kids immediately went swimming, having dressed for the occassion. Russ simply stripped down to his altogether and then got down to the business of showing us how to dig out the bank mud to find gold. My kids were a bit surprised, to say the least, but after a moment were jumping from rocks and playing. This picture says it all.....though I haven't figured how to get it upside-up!!!

We always had interesting adventures with Russ and will miss him.

Kathy McCloskey, Rodney Bachtell, Zachary Bachtell, Matthew Bachtell, and Nathaniel Bachtell
Professional photographer Jerry de Wilde was at Año Nuevo in 1970, photographing Ken Kesey and the Merry Pranksters while they were filming the never-finished movie, "Atlantis Rising". They used Russ's driftwood cabin as the location for the "princess's home". I stumbled upon this shot of the cabin in thumbnail size on Jerry's website and contacted him to see if I could get a bigger image. He sent these two, and has given me permission to post them here. They're the clearest photos I've ever seen of the cabin!

Also, Jerry found in his archives this headshot of Russ from that time. He was 21.

AND, there is a full body shot of Russ (taken same day as the portrait) that will be included, printed large, in Jerry's show opening this month at the Morrison Hotel Gallery in New York City. He is in full hippie mode. You can see a snapshot size version of that one here:

[Photos courtesy of Jerry de Wilde, copyright 1970/All Rights Reserved.]

Thanks Jerry!

Saturday, October 4, 2008

I just found this photo from summer of 1988. That's Dutch Flat artist Steve Patrick on the right. We are on the top of a mountain, I believe Anderson Peak on the Sierra Crest. This is a self-timer shot. Russ is holding the summit register, and the camera is perched on the summit cairn. I wonder what we wrote in the register? Wonder where summit registers end up?

See, my hair wasn't ALWAYS gray ; )

Check out Russ's fancy hiking footwear. This was typical.