curvylou

textiles · exploration · misadventure

One More Reason I Love Chico…

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Still, cold waters at Salmon Hole, framed by sunlit trees.

… is Bidwell Park.

Bear Hole

Black-lava-surrounded swimming hole, from above.

Bear Hole from above

Black-lava-surrounded swimming hole, closer perspective.

Bear Hole closer in

My neice on black lava, overlooking the swimming hole.

Lizzie at Bear Hole

Bear Hole is the relatively easy-access swimming hole in Upper Park. It’s about nine miles from downtown, an easy bike ride for a twenty-year-old, through the riparian habitat in Lower Park, and on into the oak grasslands of Upper Park.

I used to freeze my half-full water bottles, top them off with fresh water, and ride off with a sandwich and a coke from Frank & Martha’s Deli on Warner Street. At Five Mile I’d stop and top off the water, then go another four miles or so up-canyon to Bear Hole, where I’d swim and cool off, eat my sandwich, and maybe nap in the sun. It was downhill all the way home at sunset.

I made this ride year round, even in rain—I LOVED getting muddy—although during the cold months I didn’t swim in the Sierra Nevada melt-water. No thanks!

Salmon Hole

Canyon edge above Salmon Hole

Canyon edge above Salmon Hole

Trail down to Salmon Hole

Trail down to Salmon Hole

Deep inside Salmon Hole. Lava cliffs at left.

Deep inside Salmon Hole

Niece and auntie

Niece and auntie

Still waters of Salmon Hole through sunlit trees

Still waters of Salmon Hole through sunlit trees

Still waters of Salmon Hole through sunlit trees

Still waters of Salmon Hole through sunlit trees. Couldn’t get enough. So beautiful.

Still waters of Salmon Hole through sunlit trees. A larger perspective.

A bit of perspective on Salmon Hole.

While I lived in Chico, I never made it up to Salmon Hole, which is up the trail from Bear Hole. Lizzie took me there on our hike, and now I regret not experiencing this place in my youth, when I was local.

Lower Trail

Oak scrublands from Lower Trail.

Oak scrublands from Lower Trail.

Oak scrublands from Lower Trail.

The landscape of my heart

I could walk in this landscape all day and never be bored. In fact, when I’m in it, I go into a little fugue of happiness, an envelope that feels impervious at the time.

North Rim Trail

Lizzie and camelbak, ready for a hike on North Rim Trail, Bidwell Park.

Lizzie and camelbak, ready for a hike

Lizzie, North Rim Trail on a rainy day.

Lizzie, North Rim Trail

Even in the rain.

8 thoughts on “One More Reason I Love Chico…

  1. You melt my heart💖💖💖💖💖 I love Chico too, haven’t been to Bear hole in a long time, but the oak Savannah’s are the landscape of my heart too. I can’t wait for you and Mathias to be here and make this sweet little town your home too. Matt will LOVE riding Bidwell. Maybe he can start a bike polo club!

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  2. And you didn’t call me to let me know you were in town. Naughty. Naughty. Naughty.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. What a dream! What a wonderful childhood memory, too! If you ever move there, we’re gonna have to come visit.

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    • Pammy!! So nice to see you hear! We would LOVE to have you come visit. I have dreams of buying a house, and having a spare room for visitors… and an art studio in the back yard.

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  4. You are seriously making me want to pick up the family and move them to Chico.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s a great place to raise kids. My niece feels like she has twenty families—her own and those of most of the kids she went to school with, who she’s known since preschool. They’re VERY close. She plans to return there after college, and raise her own family there.

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