Monday, May 9, 2011

04-16-2011 Sespe River

Frank has wanted to do the Piedra Blanca Trailhead to Red Reef Trail for a few years now. Finally all the pieces came together and he and Heidi were all set for a four day hike this weekend. Due to my work schedule I wasn't going to be able to join them for this trek. But I decided that I could at least hike out along the Sespe Trail with them until they had to turn up the trail towards Santa Paula. We ate a tasty breakfast at Eggs & Things in Ojai. Then we headed up the 33 to the PB trailhead.

It was 9:00 and the parking lot was full of cars. The horse trailer from Thacher School was there as I've seen it so many times before. There are two creek crossing right at the start of the Sespe trail. Most of the year you can rock hop across the creek and keep your feet dry. The water was flowing too high this day and we had to wade across the creek. About ten minutes down the trail you have to cross Piedra Blanca Creek. It too was flowing too high for rock hopping. After that it's a sorta boring hike out to Bear Camp. At the Bear Camp crossing the water was waist deep. I opted to take off my pants and wade across in my skivvies.

Okay, so three years ago Frank and I tried to hike from Tar Creek to Grassy Flat. I remember it being a super hot day. We started early and didn't see anyone. It was an exhausting hike. As we were getting close to the West Fork we noticed some smoke coming up from behind a couple of rocks. We walked over and saw two men and a pitbull sitting next to a fire. The old man holding the pitbull was wearing sandles that had been made out old tire tred and some rope. I remember thinking, "How the hell did this guy get out here in those sandles?" We weren't sure what to make of these guys so we just waved and moved on.

So then last year when we did our Tar Creek loop we lost the trail back up when we got to the Sespe Camp. After we had spent an hour searching for the start of the Green Cabins road we ran into three people who were down there to do some fishing. We asked them about the trail but they didn't seem to know what we were talking about. Then it struck me, "Hey, didn't I run into you last year down here?" Yup, it was the same guy we had seen with the old man the previous year. I thought it was a funny coincidence. He offered us some Tequila, but we had to find the trail.

So back to the present. After we had crossed the Sespe at Bear Camp these three people come strolling down the trail. We exchanged greetings. Then it struck me again, "Hey, aren't you the guy we keep running into on the Sespe?" Yup, third year now that we've run into this guy. I had to laugh. I've got a feeling I'm going to cross paths with him again next year.

The Bear Camp Crossing

We dried our feet and put our boots back on. Then we started to make our way towards Kerr Spring. When we got to the spring I decided that I would make that my turnaround spot. Like 75% of my coworkers I've been sick the last few weeks. I've been getting better, but I'm still not fully healed. I just didn't feel like pushing myself any further. So I bid farewell to Frank and Heidi and then headed back towards the trailhead. I must have passed at least a dozen people headed up towards Willett on my way out.

If Frank feels like writing up a report I'll put it here. Here's some pictures from his trip.

The Harris Tunnel

California Conservation Corps working the trail


  1. You have a lovely blog. My sister and I have begun hiking in the hills and canyons of Simi Valley and are trying to connect with others. We invite you to also follow our blog :)

  2. Tell Jones to get crack-a-lackin' on that write-up! ;-) I'm also curious to hear/see how Ladybug looks after the sawyer removed that huge p. macrocarpa that came down in camp February before last.