Thursday, August 18, 2011

08-14-2011 Seven Falls

Megan and I decided we wanted to get a hike in this weekend. I thought she might enjoy a hike up to Seven Falls in Santa Barbara. It's a fairly short hike with some nice scenery. The hike starts on Tunnel Road. It's a pretty popular trailhead. There were plenty of people out hiking. We took the Jususita fork in the trail. When we reached the Mission Creek junction we ignored the use-trail and went straight up the creek.
The creek is easy to navigate, and probably has less poison oak than the trail. There are small waterfalls that flow into little pools. The last waterfall is larger then the first six. It spills into a pool that could be dip worthy. However on this day there were people already in the pool, and the water looked kinda cloudy.
Looking up Mission Creek. In the upper left you'll see an antenna looking thing.

 Here's a close up of the antenna.
This looks just like the antenna  above. But at some point in the past this was washed down the creek. Does anyone know what these are?

There were thousands of tadpoles in the creek. Some of them were beginning to sprout their legs. We saw a Two-striped Gartersnake that was no doubt enjoying the bounty of polliwogs. There is a large salamander  living in the deep pool. It popped up to the surface for a quick second, and then disappeared back into the murky depths.
The deep pool

If you want to go further towards Mission Falls you either have to go up and over the steep sides of the canyon. Or if you don't mind getting wet you can try to wade and climb out the pothole at the top of the falls. I remember going beyond Seven Falls once many years ago when I was a teenager. As I recall there was a lot of poison oak and fallen trees. I can't imagine much has changed since my last visit.
Fossil sea shells

  So ,we had a good time hanging out in Santa Barbara. People are so much better looking in SB than Ventura. I look forward to hiking with Megan again. Maybe something more challenging next time.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

07-30-2011 Jesusita Trail

A few months ago my favorite day-pack got torn up in Santa Paula Canyon. I finally got a replacement for it this week. I was really itching to give it a test run. I also wanted to try another Santa Barbara hike this week. One of my co-workers suggested that I try going through Stevens Park and hooking up with either the Arroyo Burro or Jesusita trails. That sounded good to me.

So, I did the bus thing again. This time I got dropped off on Ontare St. I walked up North Ontare past Foothill Rd. until I came to a gate that said "residents only". I wasn't sure what to do. I walked around for a bit to see if there was something I missed. Luckily for me a lady was walking her dog and she showed me the way down to the park (not the dog, the lady). Once I was down there it was a short walk to the Arroyo Burro / Jesusita Junction. I took the Jesustia fork.

The trail is all uphill. At times the trail skirts a paved road, and goes by some private property. Let's see, there's also some power lines, and some storage tanks as well. The first three-quarters of the uphill section are fairly shady. As you get higher it gets more and more exposed. On a clear day one could get some nice views of Santa Barbara.

A water fountain and some shade along the trail

As I neared Inspiration Point I saw a couple a couple of hundred yards in front of me. I could tell the female wasn't doing to well. She was having to stop and rest every few feet. When I caught up with them the guy asked if I could spare some water. It looked like they hadn't brought any at all. So I said sure, but all I got is in my Camelbak. But the girl said, "No thanks."
"Are you sure? You look pretty flushed. you should probably drink something."
"No I'll be fine, thanks."
"Really? I think you should drink something."
"Yeah, I'll be okay."
"Alright, last chance..."
"No thanks."
So I left them there, to die I suppose.

Soon I came to Inspiration Point. There was a bunch of people there. One guy was asking a girl if she knew where the trail to Cathedral Peak was. She was trying to get a map to pop up on her phone. I chimed in and said I have a map. He sort of ignored me and I realized that he was hitting on this girl. So I backed off and showed his buddy the map. I overheard the guy ask the girl if she wanted to join him when he tries Cathedral Peak again. "No way." she said.

But he didn't give up, and he asked her for her number. To my surprise she gave it to him. But he didn't have any way to write it down. So I got be Johnny on the spot and gave him a pencil and paper, and put my cock-block karma back in balance. She was pretty cute too. I found it... inspirational.

I was so inspired that I walked down the wrong fork in the trail and ended up doing a big circle around some power lines. Once I got back on the right trail it was a fairly quick downhill walk to Mission Creek. I found a shady spot and ate lunch. At least a dozen people passed by while I fueled up. That spot is the confluence for the Cathedral Peak and Seven Falls trails, so it sees a lot of traffic. 

Mission Creek

From there it was a real easy walk down to Tunnel Rd. I walked through the Botanic Gardens, and waited in the parking lot for the bus to pick me up. I had time to kill before the Vista bus came, so I cruised State St. Wow, no more big bookstores on State St. How can that be? I remember my first job, restocking the magazine racks at the Earthling Bookstore on State and Victoria, so long ago. And Russ' Camera is gone too, sigh. I grabbed a ice cream sandwich, and a Gatorade, and caught the bus home.