Los Padres National Forest
Locate the trail head.
With the remains of the day, I decided to do a quick jaunt up Chorro Grande to the waterfall to see if it had a bit of water, too. It isn't very far or much climbing. It can probably be seen from the road somewhere, but that would be cheating.
|Chorro Grande has its sign back!|
There were a few cars parked at the trail head. The sign has returned, so it is much easier to find and be sure about again. My timing was bad, so even though I wasn't going far, I still had to face down five mountain bikers on the narrow track. There's a few nice rock outcrops for looking at along the way.
|A bit of the outcrop of rock that eventually is the fall further to the east.|
And the result? Dry. Very, very dry. Not altogether unexpected.
|The dry waterfall about half a mile up Chorro Grande.|
I got back down as the last of the mountain bikers took off. I took off for the top the easy way leaving one more out on the trail.
Turning onto the ridge road, I found it is developing some very nice holes. Mostly long and deep ones, but a couple small and deep tire killers. Everyone was already cleared from Pine Mountain Campground when I passed. A few were still coming down from above. I was going to grab the first site by the sign where the trail goes down to Raspberry Spring, because it's just so cute, but the campsite isn't so I opted for something a little further. I found a rock with a deep puddle that was half frozen over from the night before so made sure I was set for a cold night. I did battle with the Whisperlite which wasn't pressurizing, but it hadn't bargained on someone actually having the instructions after a decade and the battle was brief. Then I watched the last of the sunset and the spots pop out for a while.
|A big ball of fire dropping down through the trees.|
I noticed a couple lights bobbing along below, generally hidden by the trees. Ah, found the last hikers. I tucked into bed on 2" of oversized car camping Thermarest luxury, but wasn't quite warm enough with it and the layer of pine needles until adding a layer of basic blue. Fell asleep to the wind howling loudly through the treetops but leaving the ground alone.
©2012 Valerie Norton
Posted 12 Dec 2012