22 March 2014

Manzana: White Ledge

Los Padres National Forest

Locate the trailhead.

DAY 1 | DAY 2 | DAY 3

(Day 2 of 3) Manzana Narrows is shadowed but light in the morning. The goats are feeling more comfortable and decided to spread out around the campground foraging for breakfast. One takes a few sniffs at my pack and then my drink tube, but then leaves it alone opting for a bit of bay laurel instead. We split into two groups, one to head up Big Cone Spruce and one to start toward White Ledge and divvy up the tools. The goats are taking the low side where they will hopefully eat up the poison oak and I am headed up the hill. Another crew from those in Happy Hunting Ground will be getting a large tree at the top of the trail, but we will go after everything we find after that. We are loud as we get going, but the couple we are sharing the site with do not stir until we are headed out. It is already getting toward warm for hiking as we head up the hill.

small waterfal off to the side of the trail
The water is flowing better at the top as well and some of the dry waterfalls are now flowing.

The big tree at the top is one with a heavy trail climbing the slope to get around, but I went under when day hiking. I do not remember it being particularly thick, but the 6 foot saw is comical as the group work on it. Only short strokes can be made. We take the use trail up and over since going under wouldn't be safe while people are sawing. Our first tree is an oak that fell in the rain judging by the still green leaves. The wood is wet and dense, but we eventually get through it only to find we need to slice that in half to move it.

oak trunk high over the trail
The first tree is a solid old oak that has fallen across the trail recently. The light weight 4 foot saw is a little different than the one I used before.

another trunk behind the first one
Once done with the first trunk, there seems to be a larger one behind it. This tree had a forked trunk. A number of large branches behind this trunk also had to be removed, but that is already done.

Once that tree is done, we head further away to find another. There is another oak that looks like it had many small branches fallen into the trail, but now they have all been cut away. We do not find anything until we start down the other side, where there are two trees with a walk around path that is harder than the original path only in that they are a couple feet longer. These are not a priority. Then we come upon another tree crossing the trail.

a puddle thick with tadpoles
Most of the pools have no tadpoles, but this one is black around the edges with them.

a skull on White Ledge
These rocks remind on person of a skull. I have to agree.

hiking into Happy Hunting Ground
Not such a good place to be hunting fallen trees as we head down into Happy Hunting Ground.

fallen tree found
The Zaca Fire has made it more likely to find one, and we do.

It has gotten quite a bit hotter and has tipped toward unpleasant as we set to limb the tree. This one is dry pine, a bit easier to cut, and only two cuts, but it is quite big and still takes plenty of time. Once through, it is difficult to roll off the trail. We luckily find one more as a member of another crew hiking back out passes, and manage to get it away. We head further down, but only find one more tree just outside the campground that is very nearly finished by the crew already working on it. Water is flowing on this side as well and there is some sweet stuff running past the camp. At this point, most the crew turn back because it is about that time. I head off a little further, but then turn back as well.

Happy Hunting Ground Camp
Happy Hunting Ground Camp has a double tall ice can that is currently on its side, making a double wide with a chimney out the side.

a wide flow of water
Water flowing over the rocks above camp.

sheets of water over a rock face
Starting down the west side, there is another waterfall where the water flows very widely over the rock.

waterfall again
The same waterfall this started out with, but now in the late afternoon sun and from a short use trail that travels to near the pool.

Reports from the other groups are that the trees are all cleared out to South Fork and up to Big Cone Spruce.  I am quite impressed that they managed all those trees on that short bit of trail.  They were not able to get to any of the snags and such encroaching on the trail, but the sycamore along the trail is gone.

Continue reading: day 3

©2014 Valerie Norton
Posted 25 March 2014

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