A Glimpse of Bloody Run Creek

When I covered the Wild and Scenic Film Festival last January, I wrote a piece called “Occupy Confluences”. It’s about creating new systems, the blue lines on the map, and what inspired me to be a more active steward of the two watersheds that receive the run-off from our farm. The creek nearest the Middle Fork Yuba drainage is Bloody Run Creek, and in “Occupy Confluences” I pledge to get to know it better. Toward that end, I started a very unofficial organization called Friends of Bloody Run Creek. At first it was Friend of Bloody Run Creek, but my husband quickly joined. (There are no dues, no meetings, no anything but learning about the creek.) There are three of us now–our friend the Wilderness Wino signing up as well (except there is nothing to sign). Here on the blog we’ll follow our progress as we learn about Bloody Run Creek’s geology and history from its headwaters to confluence. If you’d like to help, email us at lightcapfarm@gmail.com, or leave a comment below. Here’s the link to “Occupy Confluences” if you want to start at the beginning.[https://lightcapfarm.wordpress.com/2012/01/16/occupy-confluences/]

Bloody Run Creek near Backbone Road

Hopeful cedar and Ponderosa pine along Bloody Run Creek.

For years now, my husband and I have indulged in what we call Back Yard Days. These are days when we happily turn left out our driveway, heading away from civilization as we’ve come to tolerate it. Because of the snow, Back Yard Days are usually three season affairs, but this winter there was so little snow we might have even made it to Graniteville to visit the Wilderness Wino. Instead we made our first pilgrimage to Bloody Run Creek as its (un)official Friends. Here’s the view heading home, near a strip of land that we folks up here call the Saddle Back.

Looking west from Backbone Road



Filed under Back Yard Days, Community, Friends of Bloody Run Creek, Mining, Sustainability, Wild and Scenic Environmental Film Festival

15 responses to “A Glimpse of Bloody Run Creek

  1. Penelope St Claire

    Back bone is one of the places that I can easily identify from Banner Mtn. lookout. I do a once a week shift up there in fire season. It’s lots of fun to orient myself by locating familiar landmarks and learning new ones. Visible from Banner lookout are The top of Sugar Loaf, the pasture at Coughlan’s,
    part of the East Diggings below Coughlan’s, Malakoff Diggins and more. You should come up and visit this next season to look at your home from yet a different perspective.

  2. Sarah Phillips

    This is amazing! At the SYRCL office, we have been facilitating a program very similar to this ‘Occupy Confluences’ but called Watershed Guilds! You should come by to speak with Jessica Roberts or myself, Sarah Phillips so we can help support your endeavors with further information and ideas for gathering more neighbors in your group. Thanks so much for all that you’re doing! Knowing your creek’s watershed is priceless. Best wishes.

    • Sarah, that is where I got this idea. I heard the presentation that Jason Rainey and others gave at Wild and Scenic. SYRCL kindly put my “Occupy Confluence” piece up as its guest blog for a week, and in that piece I talk about how the idea of Guilds inspires me. Thanks for connecting–I’ll stop by when I’m in town. I want to get to the Doris Foley library to do some research on the creek’s history as well.

  3. Alana

    You know my favorite geology tours were led by a certain chosen brother of yours. Perhaps he could lead a group on an informative tour?

  4. jason santos

    Hello friends of Bloody Run Creek, my name is Jason, and I have a few recreational mining claims along the creek. Visitors may see a mining claim sign nailed to a tree, which I put up. This “friends” group is a great idea. So much history and natural beauty in Nevada County. There is a 30ft waterfall just 1/4 mile west of Back Bone crossing, does this waterfall have a name? If anyone has any questions or concerns about my claims, feel free to contact me, jfsauprospecting@yahoo.com
    One other historical note; there is a lost treasure story about an old miner who buried $40,000 worth of gold coins somewhere in the general Bloody Run area. He was killed, and his stash was never found. A google search will provide more interesting details.
    Lets keep Bloody Run beautiful.

    • How exciting to hear from another friend of the creek, Jason. I have heard of a 30′ waterfall nearby; I heard from the woman who owns the property. She said it was very hard to get to. Is this the same waterfall you are thinking of? Maybe we’ll see you down by the creek one day. Thanks for writing!

  5. Josh Reinke

    I have a few mining claims on bloody run as well, starting around wells flat rd. I have walked the canyon (more like climbed) all the way to the Yuba. It is one of the most beautiful places I have been. I am an active miner in the area and have been all over this area. not only is the area one of the most beautiful but this creek alone is very unique. It is very dangerous terrain and not for the inexpierienced hiker a world of its own. I am glad there is someone out there who cares about this beautiful place. Email me at joshreinke@hotmail.com if anyone is looking for a good mining claim in the area. Thanks

    • Nice to meet you, Josh. Maybe we’ll see you and Jason hiking around there some time. Thanks for helping take care of Her.

      • josh reinke

        Thank you Carolyn, I think that every water source should have people like you around to help protect from polution and dumping. I think more people should do things like what you do here for the sake of keeping our earth clean. We can be parasites that leave a wake of destruction or we can treat her with respect and only take what we need. Good luck to you.

  6. Hi, Carolyn. I believe you were referring to me when you mentioned “the woman who owns the property” with the 30′ waterfall. As far as I know, my husband and I are the only people who actually own part of Bloody Run Creek. I could be completely wrong but that’s my impression, at least from the bridge on down to the Yuba. There are a number of incredible (and large) waterfalls along the length of Bloody Run.
    We feel so privileged and honored to be able to own this piece of land and treasure it. So count us in as major supporters of Bloody Run! This past summer was a harsh reminder of how unprotected it is. There were squatters there, burning fires, spray painting rocks and trees, leaving trash everywhere, had a pit bull running loose, etc. And flat landers come up regularly to shoot off their guns and rifles for entertainment. It is very discouraging when our calls to Forestry law enforcement are ignored. Please keep us informed as to your further plans.
    Jedon and Kelli

    • Thanks, Kelli. Nice to meet you here. I see Jedon on FB on the SJR Forum. I don’t have any structured plans. Someone else may want to create that, but not me. I am glad that a few of us have met here and can stay connected about the status and health of the creek. I am sorry to hear the details above, but also glad to know of your stewardship. Happy Holidays!

  7. Josh Reinke

    Anyone have any more information on the lost cache of gold? I want to find it!

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