30 August 2008

Chorro Spring

Los Padres National Forest

Locate the trailhead.

The trail down to Chorro Spring started at the far end of Reyes Campground. It had a large road sign to mark it so was easy to find. The first few feet looked like road and had a road block on it, but shortly after that it was only trail sized. The trail actually goes past Chorro Spring to Oak campground and then on to 33.

On the way to the trail head, we found a former bee hive.

A large hole in a tree where the remnents of honeycomb is visible.
A little bit of honeycomb is still visible in the hole that was once occupied by a bee hive. The hole still smells strongly of honey, too.

Abbie holding the chunk of honeycomb she found in the tree.
Abbie pulled out a chunk of honeycomb she saw inside (of course). She's probably looking for dead bees to add to her collection.

There were nice views along the way to the trailhead too.

Close there are green trees and in the distance, blue mountains.
The view along part of the road that is roughly Reyes Peak campground. This looks like the place to stay.

Heading down, it seemed like we'd probably been going longer than 0.8 mile, which is all it is to the spring, but very soon after we were starting to feel a little long in the trail, there was a great big oak tree with a stream beyond.

Very thick spreading oak tree with a bit of wet visible behind and to the left.
This thick oak was in front of the stream from the spring that comes out in the rocks to the right. Wet from the stream can be seen in the shadows to the left.

Big, lucious acorns growing on the huge oak.
These luscious acorns were growing on the huge oak tree. Too bad they can't quite be eaten.

There was a small cave where the water came out. It was big enough for comfortable sitting out a storm for about three people.

Cave from which the spring issues.
Abbie and Nick inspect the start of the spring. Long ago someone put a pipe in it, but the water no longer comes out it and the container it filled is long since gone. Meanwhile, the light dances happily on the underside of the rock behind Abbie.

The water oozes out of the ground at the far back end of the cave.
At the very back of the cave under the rock, the water seems to ooze out of the ground the same way as the common underground streams of the area. The only difference is, this one is actually running at this time of year.

Eventually it was time to head back to camp. Only two hours or so to dark and we would have to make some dinner when we got there.

Sprawling oak again, this time the side that has had branches cut off.  The stream of the spring is more easily seen here.
That oak again, this time from the other side. The stream is much easier to see from here. Someone has gone and cut off limbs of this oak from time to time. It looks quite manicured.

Coming back up didn't seem all that long, as it shouldn't. We stopped for a bit of breath from time to time to take in the view and because the trail was so steep in spots.

View into the valley where the nude white rock of Piedra Blanca is very visible.
The view out over the valley along the trail. The nude white rock of Piedra Blanca near where I camped before is clearly visible.

And all along the trail above the steady water source, life persists even in the hardest of circumstances.

Small tree bent over and burned but still the needles are a bright green.
A tree near the trail bent over from some injury and looking a little charred shows bright green needles on the warm summer day.

And so we returned to our camp along the road.

©2008 Valerie Norton
Posted 2 September 2008

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