24 December 2006

Gaviota Peak loop trail

Gaviota State Park and Los Padres National Forest

Locate the trailhead.

Out past Gaviota beach, the wrong way on the exit to Lompoc (and right again), is the trail head for the hot springs and peak. The peak is about 3 miles by the springs and about 3.5 miles by trespass trail. Together, they make a loop. Trespass trail is on south and west facing slopes with more obstacles to following the trail. A second trail leaves to the right at the saddle to what may or may not be something interesting. Going straight goes past a dry lake and connects up with the trail up the mountain. Going left would connect up with the trail faster, but there is very little trail there. The route past the hot springs is more direct and road-like almost the entire way, which is mostly western and northern slopes.

We (mom and I) headed out a bit past noon on the trespass trail because it is winter and won't be too hot to hike a southern slope even this close to sea level. Also, it apparently has much better views. This turns out to be quite true, partly because there's less vegetation on the south side to hinder viewing and partly because there's ocean on that side.

So we paid the $2 parking fee and started up the trail. Taking the right fork at the sign puts us on the correct trail heading around to the south side of the peak. Soon there is a glimpse of ocean and a ribbon of 101 freeway. There has been enough moisture to get the bushes nicely green, but the smaller growth is decidedly brown.

glimps of ocean and ribbon of highway in rolling sandstone uplift mountains

25 November 2006

Tangerine Falls

Santa Barbara frontcountry

Locate the trailhead.

The Cold Spring trailhead is on Mountian Drive behind Montecito. Head up Hot Springs and turn left on Mountain to get there. For more extensive and somewhat silly directions, see localhikes.com, which has plenty of other useful information too. For another viewpoint, see here.

So, get there, head up the trail on the east side of the stream, and when you get to the fork in the trail, take it! Hahaha. Okay, standard joke out of the way.

So, get there, head up the trail on the east side of the stream and go left at the fork to cross the stream and join the trail runners. Some people are just mad about running. Not too long after there's another fork, this time go right and leave the main trail. Very shortly up that there is a third fork, one leading up the narrow canyon and one climbing the hillside. Presumably the falls is up the one on the narrow canyon, but if you've read the second site up there, you might think that's the old trail and the one up the hillside is the new trail rather than a different trail altogether. We (me and mom) turned up the hillside, so can't say how far the trail along a steep side of a narrow canyon actually went or if the falls were accessible.

Climbing up above the city always gives a good view. The islands are hard to see, but the sharp eyed can pick out Santa Cruz and Anacapa.

canyon down to city, then ocean out to islands

22 June 2006

Treman Gorge (Enfield Glen)

Robert H. Treman State Park

Finger Lakes area, Ithaca, New York

Locate the trailhead.

We were out in Ithaca to share the secrets of force detected NMR and plant a few seeds for the future and while John had us there, he wanted to show off how Ithaca is gorges. As they say. We were given bus passes to make our way up to Cornell and back down, but were encouraged to walk through the gorge back at least once, which we did. We also took a field trip one morning up to another of the local gorges. John (NY) didn't lead this one; I think it was Dan (IBM) who instigated it bringing along Dan (CIT) and John (UW) and a few of us helper bees in a couple of cars. It turns out the MRFM community values a moment surrounded by nature. We parked at the bottom and hiked up along the river, oohing and ahing the flows and chatting away.

a bit of stream seen through the foliage
Lots of dark, flat rocks make a natural flooring for the river bed.

a few feet of wide falls
Our first waterfall along the way.

11 February 2006

Trail Canyon Trail

Angeles National Forest

Locate the trailhead.

This is my second trip in this area. The first was last May.

Ah, let us go on a short little trip to stretch our legs. And let us rest up somewhere far from the hum of electrical lines overnight. Yes, that is a good idea. And thus it was decided that we should have a lazy weekend backpacking trip. At least on my side.

Apparently, the other side simply desired to put to use her equipment since she had never actually been backpacking before. There was also a demand that there not be a ranger at the campground watching TV or other horrors along the lines of being near people who were not, in fact, "roughing it". This demand was met. The second demand that there be as much water in the canyon as the pictures from May show was not met, as a simple comparison of some of these pictures will show. It turned out that there was still enough water so disappointment did not set in due to this unmet demand.

Being a rather short hike, we felt no need to start quickly. So one party drove up from San Diego after sleeping through an alarm, parking and campfire permit were obtained along the way, just a little out of the way, and the trail was arrived at without overshooting the rather unmarked road in the afternoon. Everyone involved was not particularly worried about this and everyone managed to neglect lunch but did manage to eat a banana.

We proceeded up the trail, quickly leaving the still used portion of the road behind, with many easy stream crossings. A quick marveling at the falls and further on. We got to Lazy Lucas, which had appeared to be someone's guerrilla addition to the sign at the bottom, but turned out to have a metal campfire ring and somewhat fancy sign. Guess the campfire permit was unneeded.

Declaring it soonish to be dark and better to cook in the light, besides neither had had lunch, we stopped for a bit to munch. I believe I managed to have actual flames inside the pot at the bottom of the rice after pumping on the fuel rose the flames too high. This seems to be the danger of a nearly full fuel can, the pumping is required often leading to uneven cooking.

With a bit of light left, we packed things back up and headed to the original destination for the night. It turned out to be a little more than a mile between Lazy Lucas and Tom Lucas, we got there a bit after dark. The moon was full, providing ample light to see the countryside when everything was open. The valley closed in for a while, requiring a lamp. Seeming too long along, it opened up again and the campground was a welcome sight.

sign at Tom Lucas campground

(The sign and a memorial to Paul Little at Tom Lucas campground. Once this was a car campground, or so we are told, but there is now no obvious evidence of a road although so many of the old roads are easily found.)

After a lazy morning, we got started again heading further up the valley. The creak was left soon after the campground and we started to climb a bit. Maybe it's time to go ahead a snap a photo...

not particularly green creakbed and tree stand

01 January 2006

hikes of 2006

 Trail Canyon Trail, Angeles National Forest: Feb 11-12

 Treman Gorge, Robert H. Treman State Park, Ithaca, New York: Jun 22

 Tangerine Falls, Angeles National Forest: Nov 25

 Gaviota Peak, Gaviota State Park and Los Padres National Forest: Dec 25


View hikes 2006 in a larger map