|June 16 2-12
By the time I got to Cave Junction it was sprinkling. The sprinkling was on and off. Continued northeast on Highway 199 to Eight Dollar Road, then headed West, past my discoveries, then across the Green Bridge to Josephine Camp.
Information on the Eight Dollar Road area can be found here.
Take a look at the big photo which shows the Green Bridge. From the left of the bridge head East somewhere between a quarter and half mile to my discoveries. From the right end, Josephine Camp is about a half mile westward.
Arrived at Josephine Camp shortly after Noon, after traveling 515.7 miles since leaving San Jose.
There was only one group of campers when I arrived, but they had my favorite campsite, so I chose another.
Put a water bottle and some other stuff on the picnic table of the campsite I choose, and drove towards where my R. occidentale discoveries are located. But, before I got to the Green Bridge, it started raining.
Headed back to camp, and in the rain quickly set up my tent.
Weather wizards. First they say that today would be clear, then they said that there would be rain, Was clear until sometime after 11 AM. If they cannot be sure of short range predictions, how can they be sure of predictions involving many years?
Is it a case of garbage in, garbage out?
Did some reading of the two books I brought with me.
By 3 PM it cleared.
Before heading to my R. occidentale discoveries I had a ham and cheese sandwich for lunch.
I crossed over the Green Bridge and headed East.
Less than a half mile East of the Green Bridge is a wide area off the road which is a good place to park. On one of the trees in the area is a sign that proclaims “Federal Mining Claim”. This sign is fairly recent. It is very likely that the miners made a winding path that goes to the Illinois River. But, near the East end of the parking area, somewhat hidden from view, is an abandoned road that goes down to the Illinois River. Do not know if the miners know about this road. This abandoned road leads to three of my discoveries.
In my July, 2010 plant hunting expedition I saw some gold mining equipment in the river not far from the Green Bridge.
During this expedition I hiked from Josephine ‘Camp, across the Green Bridge, to the R. occidentale area.
This is looking down the abandoned road. To the right of the road can be seen R. occidentale Siskiyou 1001
R. occidentale Siskiyou 1001 had already finished blooming. Just spent flowers.
The R. occidentale in this area are usually in bloom in April and early May, but a cold Winter, like the ones before the Winter of 2011 and 2012 can delay the bloom well into May or even June
On June 15, 2011, due to the coldness of the previous Winter, R. occidentale Siskiyou 1001 looked like this.
On June 15, 2011, due to the coldness of the previous Winter, R. occidentale Siskiyou 1306, which is 92 strides downhill, looked like this.
But on this plant hunting expedition, R. occidentale Siskiyou 1306 was in the same condition as R. occidentale Siskiyou 1001, as well as two plants near R. occidentale, one with red Fall foliage and another with orange Fall foliage, which are near R. occidentale Siskiyou 1306 which I noticed on my northern seed collecting trip. If these have good flowers, hopefully will catalogue them in the future.
Not far from R. occidentale 1307 is some darlingtonia.
Not far from the Illinois River is R. occidentale Siskiyou 1307 with a few flowers hanging on.
On May 23, 2010, R. occidentale Siskiyou 1307, which is normally in bloom earlier in the year, looked like this.
R. occidentale Siskiyou 1001 is at an elevation of 1,254 feet, R. occidentale Siskiyou 1306 is at an elevation of 1,241 feet, and R. occidentale 1307 is at an elevation of 1,107 feet.
Proceeded back uphill to Eight Dollar Road, where North of the road are R. occidentale Siskiyou 1402, and further East is R. occidentale Siskiyou 1602.
R. occidentale Siskiyou 1402, at an elevation of 1,308 feet is surrounded by darlingtonia, and the soil is quite wet with quite a few streamlets in the area. It had also finished blooming.
R. occidentale Siskiyou 1602.
The last flowers on R. occidentale Siskiyou 1602.
On most of my discoveries I was able to find new growth hard enough to become cutting material.
I then returned to camp, and did some writing, and did some reading of Ecotyranny by Brian Sussman and Whirlwind by James Clavell.
After I took this photo, my camera went dead due to the battery running out of juice. I put in the camera my auxiliary battery, but even though I thought I had recharged it, the battery was dead also.
Luckily I took all of the photos I needed to take today.
Later on in the day the rain returned, but I was dry in my tent.
BACK TO CALIFORNIA
Tuesday, the fifth of June was election Day in California. Unfortunately I have a Taurus instead of a TARDIS. Usually I get to the polling place about 6:45 AM and generally am the first one to vote. I have had the people in charge of the voting place show me what will be the ballot box (a cardboard box), and see them assembling it, as proof that it is not stuffed. But, I started the day at Josephine Camp, located in what use to be called the Siskiyou National Forest, but is now the Rogue River – Siskiyou National Forest. The Wednesday before election day I drove to the Register of Voters office at 1555 Berger Drive, in San Jose, and voted there. This is the first time that I was unable to vote in person.
While I was taking down my camp there was a light rain.
Proceeded to the gasoline station at O’Brian and topped off my gasoline tank there, to make sure that I could get to Willits on one tank of gasoline. I asked the attendant if I could recharge my camera batteries there, and he said yes, and he showed me an outlet next to a picnic table. While the battery was recharging, I could have headed across the street, to the area of the new firehouse to see if I could find R. occidentale SM157 (Miniskirts), but I decided to stay near where my battery charger was to make sure that it did not do any traveling. Did some reading instead.
I recently received an email from Mike Oliver, who took part in many of the Britt Smith and Frank Mossman plant hunting expeditions, which said that R. occidentale SM157 (Miniskirts) is still in existence, and he saw the plant last year. The road that is between the gas station & store and the firehouse after much turning eventually becomes Low Divide Road. I have used Google Earth to follow the road. Frank Mossman said that the road that Miniskirts is close to becomes Low Divide Road. Hopefully I shall find Miniskirts next year.
After the batteries were recharged, I purchased a pastrami sandwich, some chips, and some candy bars, and in the rain, had lunch at the rest stop, off Highway 199, not far southwest from the tunnel.
Last year, at the Gasquet ranger station the ranger also informed me that another place that R. occidentale can be found is in the area of the Darlingtonia Trail, which is indicated on a sign along Highway 199 which states Botanical Trail. Since the parking area is on the North side of the freeway, I decided to check this area on the way back.
There was plenty of darlingtonia and R. occidentale, but I did not find any plants worth cataloging.
Explored this area in the rain.
Serpentine soil can be found here, like at Myrtle Creek and at the Eight Dollar Road area.
When I reached the Darlingtonia Trail I traveled 558.4 miles since leaving San Jose.
The rain stopped before I reached Crescent City
The location which has the most diversity of Rhododendron occidentale is Stagecoach Hill.
The second most area is Crescent City Flats, located South of Crescent City, which is bordered on the North by a line heading West from approximately half way between Peveler Avenue and Quinlan Avenue, on the South by Sand Mine Road, on the East by Humboldt Road, and on the West by Highway 101. The elevation is quite low. I have seen debris there that was deposited by the tsunami that was caused by the 1964 Alaska earthquake.
In this area are R. occidentale such as:
R. occidentale SM 30
R. occidentale SM 48
R. occidentale SM 49
R. occidentale SM 101
R. occidentale SM 103
R. occidentale SM 135
R. occidentale SM 139
R. occidentale SM 140
R. occidentale SM 141
R. occidentale SM 142
R. occidentale SM 143
R. occidentale SM 160
R. occidentale SM 186
R. occidentale SM 238
R. occidentale SM 247
R. occidentale SM 408
R. occidentale SM 702
R. occidentale SM 801
R. occidentale SM 906
These, and other photos can be found at http://www.smith-mossman.net/main.php
The typical Smith / Mossman plant hunting expedition to this area would enter the area off Humboldt Road between Peveler Avenue and Quinlan Avenue, explore the area a bit to the South, not far from the road, then head West a short distance to where R. occidentale such as R. occidentale SM 101, R. occidentale SM 135, R. occidentale SM 135, R. occidentale SM 139, R. occidentale SM 140, R. occidentale SM 141, R. occidentale SM 142, R. occidentale SM 143, R. occidentale SM 247, and other Smith / Mossman discoveries are located; proceed West along the fence quite a ways to the area where R. occidentale SM 30 is located, on the way passing R. occidentale TT74 #3 (a discovery by Tom Tatem which has variegated foliage) and my R. occidentale Crescent City 1104. On a Smith / Mossman plant hunting expedition Jim Garver, who use to own a nursery specializing in R. occidentale, collected some cutting material and grew some plants from them, and gave me a plant of R. occidentale Crescent City 1104. This plant was at my mother’s garden for many years. I sent cutting material to Polo de Lorenzo at Sonoma Horticultural Nursery, and he created plants from this. Elaine Sedlack, of the California Chapter of the American Rhododendron Society acquired a plant of R. occidentale Crescent City 1104 from Sonoma Horticultural Nursery and planted it at the garden that is next to the Lakeside Garden Center building in Oakland.
I wish I knew who now owns the property.
Crescent City Flats has a better collection of R. occidentale than at Azalea State Reserve in Humboldt County, and Azalea Park in Brookings, Oregon.
If I were in charge, I would create a parking and picnic area, get rid of the vast majority of Sitka spruce and other weeds, and with the help of Mike Oliver and Dick Cavender find the Smith / Mossman discoveries and set out trails.
Some of the azaleas may be gone now. The last time I saw R. occidentale SM 30 it was surrounded by Sitka spruce and looked sickly.
When I reached Crescent City Flats, I traveled 583.9 miles since leaving San Jose. After taking the photos of what should be the entrance, I headed South on Highway 101.