30 August 2008

Reyes Peak area (camping)

Los Padres National Forest

Chorro Spring | Raspberry Spring | Reyes Peak

We headed out looking for a place to camp. The main plan was somewhere on up highway 33 near Wheeler Gorge. First we looked for a spot in the valley, but the Gorge campground itself was full with people reserving spots and had weird rules for weekends. Middle Lion and Rose Valley were both quite full when we went by, so we climbed the mountain. Dropping into Pine Mountain and found one site empty. I dropped off my passengers to hold it and wait for the second car while going up to see if there was something in Reyes Peak, our preferred spot, but there wasn't. It was quite nice, though, and I found the trail down to Chorro Grande.

After setting up and getting ourselves fed lunch, we headed over to Chorro Spring on foot. Then back for lovely dinner and a bit of star gazing. The stars were nice and crisp and plentiful.

Then along came the very annoying not quite teenagers who felt the need to drink all night and tear down bits of trees to keep their fire going. Since it was green wood, of course they had to keep squirting lighter fluid on it, besides that made it jump up in fun ways. Meanwhile, there had to be music. Boring rap music for the most part. Eventually they fell asleep.

In the morning we had a lovely breakfast of pancakes which worked surprisingly well. They had wonderful crunchy edges and were nice and light and there was even real maple syrup to douse them in although some had them with the peanut butter or jam that was meant for lunch. Then our neighbors woke up and started up some more music and burning wood and even drinking.

Most of us climbed the hill north of the campground to have a little time to ourselves. Reading or talking or painting. Coming back, the music was like a dreary roar. Shortly after that, though, is when the ranger came by and the music went off. An extensive lecture followed, as did supervised fire burying. Information was collected and they were sent on their way. Unfortunately they might not even be fined, but it was entertaining to watch all the same.

We completed packing up in blissful silence. We got the lunch stuff ready for a picnic and headed to Raspberry Spring on the other side of the ridge. It took a little looking to find the spring instead of just the campground, but we managed. We had our lunch and hiked back up.

I wanted to go to the end of the road and maybe up to the actual peak that they road may or may not get to. The rest didn't really want to and since they were all going back to Pasadena and I was headed up to Santa Barbara for another day afterward, we parted. I got to the end of the road and found it did not actually go to the top, so had to hike the rest of to way to Reyes Peak.

Then it was on up to Santa Barbara to see my uncle while he was still in town.

©2008 Valerie Norton
Posted 2 September 2008

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