Tuesday, May 11, 2010

05-07-2010 Willett Hot Spring

Willett Hot Spring is a very popular and well known hike. It's a pretty straight forward nine mile hike from the Piedra Blanca trailhead. We decided that in preparation for our upcoming Sespe hike we would hike out to Willett and back in one afternoon. We set a pretty good pace. It took us two hours to get Kerr Spring, the half-way point to Willett. Here's a tip, when you get to Bear Camp there's a creek crossing if you stick to the main trail, but if you keep walking down creek on the use-trail about a hundred yards you can rock hop across the creek without having to take your shoes off and wade.

Watch your step

Another two hours and two more creek crossings and we were at Willett Camp. There's a few old buildings. In one of them I found a couple of super-stoned Ojai locals playing Scrabble and chillin on the bunk-bed frames in there. There's a concrete structure with a big, metal, bear-proof door for storage.

Stash your goodies here

We were sitting at one the picnic tables when a well traveled fellow named Scott strolled up.

A nice place for lunch

We chatted about past hikes for about an hour, and then it was time for us to head back the way we came. We didn't even check out the hot spring. I wore my water shoes for the half mile back to the creek crossing only to realize when I got there that I had left my socks drying back at Willett. So I had to run back get my socks and then run back to where Frank was waiting for me. We were able to keep the same pace back, two hours to Kerr Spring. We ran into a guy from the California Conservation Corps who said they had been working on the Red Reef Trail and the trail between Sespe Hot Springs and Shady Camp. So if you had been rebuffed on those trails in the past they are probably improved now. We saw a woman on horseback leading four or five mules loaded with supply's out to the CCC camp at Sespe Hot Springs on our way back. I assume she was from the Los Padres Outfitters.

Checking out that ass

And that was it, eighteen or nineteen miles in eight hours. I counted about nine people staying at Willett that night. Next week we will take six days to hike the Sespe from Piedra Blanca to Tar Creek.

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