Tony Krizan

Tony Krizan

Another forgotten aircraft located

Sometime during the summer of 1962 a small Piper Cub aircraft on a photo shoot of the Edison Lake area, crashed somewhere in the surrounding mountains. Both pilot and passenger survived but the aircraft was a total loss. Over time this historic aircraft’s location was forgotten and another mountain mystery was born.

Tony Krizan

The Mount Ophir experience

Through the years I’ve trekked through many exciting areas within Central California. Sometimes the least expected region can have lasting memories. I received an email from our local Senior Hiking group with the information on a mining area around Mariposa. The summer season fires, including the nearly 82,000 acre Detwiler Fire, had burnt through and opened up an old forgotten mining area from the 1850’s called Mount Ophir at 4,186 feet.

Tony Krizan

Our ever changing wilderness

On the first day of November I decided to revisit the Thornberry Mountain area above Oakhurst, and area that for many years was an ideal location for my personal conditioning for summer backpacking trips.

Tony Krizan

Snaffle Bit Tree survived the fire

With fires being the center of attention within the state of California, my curiosity into these catastrophic events led me to Yosemite National Park. Over the years I’ve hiked many of the parks historic trails. One area that offers the hiker choices of trails into her wilderness is Wawona. Even though the 2017 fires burnt most of this area, some of the trees and ground cover survived.

Tony Krizan

Early fall snow hiking

Today is the second day of our fall season and just four days earlier we experienced a fall snow. The mountains in and around Yosemite National Park displayed its first dress of white. It’s been quite a few years since I’ve trekked through an early fall snow, so Conness Lakes which is above Saddlebag Lake is the destination for three hikers. Clem Bingham, Fred Cochran and I are ready for this new fall snow experience.

Tony Krizan

Yosemite’s Hidden Falls

We departed from Oakhurst at 8 a.m. to hike another one of Yosemite’s many trails. Sharing this hike was the Sierra Senior Hiking Group led by Meredith Meehan. She wanted to share this new hiking adventure which her family and close friends have enjoyed for decades. It’s called Hidden Falls and its name was appropriate, because the last half mile of this eight mile round trip hike was similar to a cross-country trek.

Tony Krizan

Hiking into history

Last year on Sept. 29, Clem Bingham and I set out on an adventure to relocate a military mystery. From previous research, this lone aircraft was assumed to have been removed from this site back in 1941. As the story reads: On Oct. 24, 1941, 19 P-40 aircraft were on a training mission over California. Lieutenant John H. Pease was the first of five to develop engine problems and forced to bail out. He survived and his bird was forgotten, lost to the importance of WWII.

Tony Krizan

Must do hikes for Spring

West of Tioga Pass Road is two old forgotten mining towns. One is called Dana City, located above the upper Gaylor Lake at 10,840 feet. The trailhead is located west of Yosemite’s east gate at an elevation of 9,970 feet.

Tony Krizan

Storms bring snow, spring will be exciting

After five years of drought, 2017 started out with over double the amount of rain and snow from previous years. With road washouts, overflowing streams and the testing of our skills installing and removing tire chains, it’s not fun having the entire winter season in one month.

Tony Krizan

Snowshoe Yosemite’s wilderness

What does one do with a new pair of snowshoes? First find a buddy with the same equipment and then plan a trek into the wilderness. With our snow level below 5,000 feet, there are a few choices of trailheads. I chose the Snow Park Area just before the south entrance to Yosemite National Park.

Tony Krizan

Chasing history

Sometimes we make major decisions after some forethought and other times they are just spur of the moment ideas. Roughly 30 days before I decided to visit family in Ohio for the holidays, I thought to myself ... what if I shared one of those historical hikes into Kings Canyon National Park looking for those five P-40 fighter aircraft that crashed? Maybe someone in Ohio may be interested in our California aviation history.

Tony Krizan

Stranded at Mono Hot Springs

Christmas is almost here and 2016 is rapidly coming to a close. It’s difficult to believe I’ll soon be starting my 13th year of sharing my wilderness adventures with Sierra Star readers. I dug back into my files and decided to share my original adventure that was published in the Sierra Star on Jan. 14, 2005 - Stranded at Mono Hot Springs.

Tony Krizan

Easy access to snowshoeing and cross-country skiing

Our winter season is once again upon us as Eastern Madera County received several inches of snow between Nov. 26 and 27. Gone are those dusty trails and bright colored wildflowers that covered the hillsides and canyons within our mountain wilderness. Mother Nature is always reliable and brings back those memories from previous years with each season change.

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