Category Archives: Friends of Bloody Run Creek

Three Crossings: Bloody Run Creek

late April in the Sierra:

Recently three of the four Friends of Bloody Run Creek drove to a few of the crossings we knew to check on the creek. The Wilderness Wino was out of town, but Mr. Lightcap and I and our dog Elvis were ready for action.

Elvis loves the snow, and he soaks up the last bit as snowmelt continues to feed Bloody Run Creek near Moore’s Flat. This crossing is the furthest upstream of the three we visited.

Bloody Run is only several feet wide here, and with snowmelt and run off, it looked like we might be close to the headwaters. But since then, I read in Hank Meals’ The River that a stream by the same name exits Sterling Lake.

Snowmelt destined for the Middle Fork of the Yuba River.

So close to Moore’s Flat, we took a detour down one of our favorite kind of roads.

Moore’s Flat is known for its rocks, leftover from the hydraulic mining in the 19th and early 20th Century.

Moore’s Flat was a sizable town back in the day.

We left Moore’s Flat and traveled toward Backbone Road, to a crossing we visit often on our walks. Sitting in the sun on the wooden bridge, we had only to look fifty feet upstream to see three hearty tributaries dumping water in the Creek. No wonder it had tripled in size from the first crossing we visited.

At the crossing at Bear Trap Springs Road, the creek is wide, high, and fast. This appears to be about a mile from the confluence.

A mysterious chunk of concrete on this rapid. I want to find out who built the dam, and when, and specifically why. I assume it was for mining, but I assumed the headwaters were near that upper crossing. All bets are off.

Wide, fast, confident, Bloody Run Creek near Bear Trap Springs Road.

Farewell, Bloody Run. So glad we’re friends.


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Filed under Back Yard Days, Friends of Bloody Run Creek, photographs

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, or leave a comment below. Here’s the link to “Occupy Confluences” if you want to start at the beginning.[]

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