The weather looked like it was going to be great for hiking this weekend. My regular hiking buddy Frank was up north, so I was on my own. I thought about an off trail adventure near Rock Creek. But, I got a little spooked by a couple of things. First, it's harvest time, and I've been hearing about busts in the Los Padres for the last month. One of my biggest fears of off-trail hiking is stumbling across some illegal farm, and getting murdered while no one knows where I am. The second factor was a co-worker of mines younger brother got bitten (twice) by a rattlesnake near the Gridly Trail. He spent a week in the hospital, and is looking at another month in a wheelchair. It was a close call, but it looks like he'll pull through okay. So I instead decided to hit a trail that I knew would have some people on it, in case something happened. I went up to Matilija, there's always people up there. I was saddened to find the new Forest Service signs up.
It makes it pretty clear, you're trespassing if you use the trail up the main fork past Blue Heron Ranch. You can't play dumb anymore. There's a sign at the trailhead for the Upper North Fork, and another at the entrance to the Blue Heron Ranch. Bummer. It's funny, in my last post I found a old sign that was used to mark a private holding, and I was really excited. Now this week I find a new sign that shows a private holding, and I couldn't be more disappointed.