Santa Barbara front country
Locate the trailhead.
The first part of the hike with Seven falls...
I came down near another waterfall. I went back down the creek to see the top of the Seven Falls.
|This waterfall proved difficult to pass on the way up and worse on the way down.|
|Tall narrow cuts can result when the water follows the layers.|
Coming back up, I had to try to find a way around the fall. The only obvious path of use was up a rock to the left of it. Here, there were some very nice foot holds and hand holds, but they got smaller as I went up the rock face. Eventually I reached out for a hand hold and found it was a small dent, perfectly aligned and didn't feel like the others that were natural but had been dug into the sandstone. There was nothing else to grab for that one last handhold, so I went for it. From there, I was able to get onto a wide ledge that annoyingly narrowed as it neared a slopped bit of dirt. The last part of this I didn't particularly like, but I made it to the dirt safely and could easily go up it to the top of the rock and continue upward.
|A bit of the canyon up above the free climb.|
|A few of the wild sunflowers covering a hillside.|
The creek disappeared and reappeared a couple times as I went up. I walked alternately through the creek bed and along paths that tended to the left side of it. Up here, I met only one hiker. She was going faster than me in the creek bed, but I overtook her when using the trails since it was smoother. She was going to Three Pools and then back after a snack. I continued up just a little bit more, checked the GPS which told me that after all this work, I'd only gone 2.5 miles and decided I really wasn't going to get to anything too interesting up there, so turned back too.
|The first two pools of Three Pools. The pools at the bases of these waterfalls are quite deep.|
|A little separated from the other two, this is presumably the third pool in the Three Pools.|
|This almost captures the depth of the pool. It is deeper than it is wide, but wider as it goes down. It is certainly deep enough to be underwater while standing.|
|A garter snake that was out sunning itself on the rock. This one did not swim through the water but used the sticks as a bridge.|
|Back to the lower pools, here is how they look from above.|
|Of course sandstone has a lot of fossils to be found.|
|Some tiny purple flowers I found along the trail.|
|A cave just big enough for someone to lay in carved in the sandstone above the free climb.|
Coming to the free climb again, I had a bit of a moment thinking, "Now, how did I get up here, anyway?" Nothing looked good, especially since I hadn't liked the last part. I maneuvered here and there, but nothing looked good, so I backtracked how I got up. I went down the dirt as far as it went, then felt around for something to hold onto while I went along the ledge. I actually did find something to make me feel comfortable, so went out along it. Finding enough grip in that made slot and some natural positions, I was comfortable enough to climb down. As the footholds got bigger, I got more comfortable about it as I went. I don't think I'll be starting free climbing any time soon, though.
|Even in a layer, some parts are harder than others allowing these rocks to be carved out from the larger sandstone.|
I hiked back up the high trail bypassing the Seven Falls. I came out a little higher on the large trail this time and didn't see it going further with a quick glace. It was probably too quick a glance, because the satellite makes it look like that is, indeed, the trail up to Cathedral Peak. (This is another usage trail, not a maintained trail.) I followed it down, not taking any of the smaller trails that had a more vertical take on proper trail routing. I came out just upstream from Jesusita. Crossing the stream at the top of a large pool where Jesusita crossed at the bottom, I followed the last of the trail up to Jesusita and continued along it back to Tunnel and my car.
|After traveling along the mountain a stone's throw from Jesusita, coming down to Mission Creek again just a little upstream of the same.|
|A lot of sailboats out. Perhaps it is the end of the regular Wednesday race.|
|One last newt I found by the side of the road and rather far from the water.|
|It looks like a good day for sailing and I see most of the fog has burned off from over by Santa Cruz Island.|
|The sailboats weren't the only ones enjoying the wind. I spotted three paragliders coming down neighboring Rattlesnake Canyon.|
©2012 Valerie Norton
Posted 22 March 2012
Posted 22 March 2012