Rob of the Redwoods – Grow Where You Are Planted

Rob of the Redwoods – Rob Diperna – https://robdiperna.wordpress.com

Grow Where You Are Planted

“You are a light and I am here to remind you that there is more to your past than the things you’ve left behind you. There’s more to the future than the choices we have made, so don’t be afraid, don’t be afraid.”–Danny Dolinger, Walking in Power

20 years. It’s mind-boggling to think of it, and even more so to grapple with the facts and realities of all my life previous to the point where I somehow found my way to Humboldt County, California two decades ago. Of course, 20 years, or my accumulated total of 47 years are not even a blip on the radar screen of universal or geologic time on this planet; my hope has been, and still remains that despite the brevity of my cameo appearance upon this stage of life, that the longest-lived terrestrial beings of them all, the Sequoia Sempervirens, the old-growth coast redwoods, might notice, and appreciated my having been here.

All life, human life included, necessitates growth to ensure any measure of what anyone might consider to be success. This year, 2017, the Headwaters Forest Reserve turned eighteen-years-old. For the last couple years I have had the honor of making myself a part of Headwaters and its present and future, serving as a volunteer docent and tour-guide, and working to establish the community support interface group, Friends of Headwaters.

Headwaters, and the struggle to protect it, of which I was but a small part, and my early years of forest advocacy work following the consummation of the Headwaters Forest Agreement in 1999 has defined and solidified for me the path of life I continue to follow to this day. But, growth means branching out, reaching tall for the sky, and digging deep my roots to anchor myself to the earth and community that surround me.

On Saturday, October 28, 2017, I found my way to the Headwaters Forest Reserve at the South Fork Elk River Trail early, determined to hike the 11-mile round-trip loop-trail prior to the second annual Halloween at Headwaters educational event, of which I was an organizer and a part. I hit the trail that morning feeling like a negligent parent, having only been to either end of Headwaters only three times during the summer.

Hiking the first mile of the trail on the flat pavement through the site of the old lumber ghost-town of Falk always evokes images, impressions and visions; not of the ghost-town era, but of the 1990’s when this route was taken only under cover of darkness while dodging loggers, cops and security, making our way stealthily as we could. As I always now do, I stopped at the Visionaries Grove site, dedicated with a tree-planting in June of 2015 to all the activists who had dedicated their lives and time to the cause of saving Headwaters Forest. There, I simply stopped, palm flat-down on the dedication plaque, took a deep breath, and continued along my way.

A few hundred yards up the trail along the first mile I came once again upon the familiar old logging skid trail junction, still carved into the earth and sparsely vegetated, even all these years later, the hardened and compact ground defying any but the most hearty of plants from penetrating its surface. 200 redwood seedlings were planted at this old scar on the land in February as part of a Friends of Headwaters tree-planting day I helped coordinate. Here, nine months later, my heart was warmed beyond expression to find many of our seedlings had survived and were growing strong. What is nine months to a tree that may live 2,000 years? It is a beginning, and maybe, a sign of different and better things to come. I take great comfort in knowing most of these seedlings will grow to outlive my puny lifespan several orders of magnitude over and over again.

Living means growth, growth means change, and change necessitates adaptation if we are to flourish. When I came here 20 years ago, I’d never seen a redwood tree before, knew nothing about science, ecology, forestry, law, policies, and all the multiplicity of complex ways in which the world created by men intersects with these. I could never have imagined growing, evolving, becoming, the person I find myself as today. The redwood forest captivated me and clearly has called upon me to live, to love, and grow where I am planted.


Here is a blog post by Brenan Greene of


Baltic Ridge Trail (Trails) Mormon Emigrant Gap

Pictured Above is the Mormon Emigrant Gap Abandoned Ski Resort


The Baltic Ridge Trail is a mix of easy to moderate off-road trails and fire roads off Mormon Emigrant Trail. From the East, you can access Mormon Emigrant Trail from Highway 88 near Kirkwood Ski Resort. From the west, you can access Mormon Emigrant Trail from the Sly Park Exit off Highway 50.

One of the most notable and iconic places on the Mormon Emigrant Trail is the old Abandoned Ski Resort (Iron Mountain Ski Resort). Iron Mountain Ski Resort was active for several years in the 80’s-90’s. This resort has since been shut down and several structures have been burned to the ground. You will find many structures still intact. There are old ski lifts, small buildings, and remains of an old hotel on what’s left of this historic property.

To the North and South of Mormon Emigrant Trail, there are hundreds of off-road trails and fire roads to explore. On the South side of Mormon Emigrant Trail, you will find the Baltic Ridge Trail. The Baltic Ridge Trail is one of many options for exploring this area of El Dorado’s National Forest. When exploring the Baltic Ridge Trail, it is important to note that this is not a well-marked trail. And, if you do not have an offline GPS system, it will be easy to take a wrong turn.

Baltic Ridge Trail Details:

  • Stock: Ok, Lift Preferred
  • Distance: 18 Miles
  • Guns: Ok
  • Camping: Few Good Spots – Very Scattered
  • Terrain: Rocky, Washed Out Ruts, Thick Brush, Narrow Trails, Wide Open/ Easy



First, we met up at Iron Mountain Ski Resort. As we mentioned above, the Iron Mountain Ski Resort is a well-traversed point of interest in El Dorado County. You can shoot guns, wheel around, and take amazing photographs at the Iron Mountain Ski Resort. If you live in Sacramento, Placer or El Dorado County, this is a great place to come check out on the weekend.


Starting The Baltic Ridge Trail

Once you start into the Baltic Ridge Trail, you will begin down a standard fire road trail. Here is where we aired down our tires and got everything situated for the trail. From this point, we also mapped our direction down toward the bottom of the trail that pops out onto another fire road which then heads back onto Mormon Emigrant Trail.


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Girl Camper Weekend – Inntown Campground – Nevada City – Nevada County

Dan and Erin Thiem are owner operators of the outsideinn in Nevada City as well as the new year around Camping, Glamping and RVing inntowncampground. Below is a recent blog post from the Inntown Campground’s website blog,….enjoy 😉


Last weekend the Inn Town Campground hosted a Girl Camper weekend with Girl Camper Ambassador Janine Pettit.  When she’s not camping, she contributes to GoRving’s blog, she’s active on InstagramFacebook or creates a weekly Girl Camper podcast for the RV Family Travel Atlas.  You can hear me chat with Janine on her podcast next month.  Janine opted for the , “the tried and true Girl Camper camping rule – KISS – Keep It Simple Silly! Friday night everyone bring an appetizer to the gathering space and share! Campfire and fellowship afterwards. On Saturday we will explore the mining town and eat lunch on our own. On Saturday evening we will meet for cocktails and dinner in a central location and do our BYOP dinner. Bring Your Own Protein. The grill will be going and all the sides will be supplied. Bring your salmon steak, T-Bone or pork chop and grill it just as you like it.”  In addition we had a fun trailer tour, craft hour and lots of chit chatting about the RV lifestyle.  Thanks to all the ladies who came out to join us at the campground.  I was inspired by Leslie’s story, she attended the RV Entrepreneur Summit earlier this year to learn more about the world of full timing and got inspired to test the waters with our girl camper weekend, renting a Class A motorhome via Outdoorsy and camping for the first time in a RV.  We all really enjoyed looking inside Jenny’s beautiful 1962 Kenskill Trailer, Danielle’s 1963 Aladdin, Mary’s vintage Shasta and I even brought over our 1957 Cardinal for my very first solo trailer camping adventure.  (Click here for a fun Instagram video of setting it up and click here for a video of breaking down the camp).  Below are some additional photos from the weekend, many thanks to Lenkaland Photography and Jim Pyle for stopping by to take a few additional photos of the fun.  Who’s inspired to channel Janine’s motto, “Going places, doing things!” and get outside and enjoy the beautiful fall camping weather?



photos by Erin Thiem, lenkalandphotography and aerial photography by Jim Pyle

49th Gold Country Scout Group, BPSA-US – Grass Valley – Nevada County

Camp. Hike. Whittle. Whistle. Bring your whole family or just come on your own. This co-ed, all-age traditional outdoor scouting program was developed and refined over 40 years starting in 1907 by the Father of Scouting and Chief Scout of the World, Lord Robert  Baden-Powell. The nostalgia we have for scouting days of old exists because of this program.

 The opportunity to participate in a whole family activity is rare these days. The best way we learn is by example – from friends, from parents, and from other community members, young and old. Develop skills, meet new people, have pride in your work and your service to your community.

We teach real outdoor skills and engage in adventures, campouts, and community-building. Service is one of our core tenants, as we create a culture where children and adults ask,”how can I help?”

Our aim thus remains the same as when scouting was founded: to promote good citizenship, discipline, self-reliance, loyalty, and useful skills. BPSA is totally independent of, and not affiliated with, the Boys Scouts of America or the Girl Scouts of the USA.

We are members of the World Federation of Independent Scouts (WFIS); and as such are not in competition with other American scouting associations, we are only their brothers and sisters. BPSA-US work closely with the Baden-Powell Scouts’ Association of England and the Baden-Powell Service Association in Canada.

The original scouting family  Lord Robert Baden-Powell, the Father of Scouting and Chief Scout of the World, and his family

“The most worth-while thing is to try to put happiness into the lives of others.”- Lord Robert Baden-Powell, Founder of the Scouting Movement


“The BPSA offers a choice for those with curiosity, energy, and independence of spirit. We are committed to providing an appropriate alternative and community-oriented Scouting experience. The BPSA welcomes everyone, regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, class, ability, religion (or no religion), or other differentiating factors. Our mission is to provide a positive learning environment within the context of democratic participation and social justice. We foster the development of Scouts in an environment of mutual respect and cooperation.”

The training scheme devised by Baden-Powell is based on using the natural desires of young people as a guide to the activities that will attract and hold them.

Our method and practice provide young people with the opportunity to craft and develop their own adventures, trips, and service projects.

The appeal of true Scouting has always been to that element of the vagabond, pioneer, and explorer, which is part of our nature, and is at its most evident in youth.

Scouting is an outdoor movement and that is part of its character. To whatever degree conditions may, at time, force us indoors—such as weather, darkness, or town life—we must regard this as second-best necessity and never as a satisfactory substitute for the real thing.

For more info –


photos by Celeste