16 December 2014

San Ysidro

Santa Barbara front country

Locate the trailhead.

Under the threat of rain, I decided to wander about the San Ysidro area for a bit, heading up to the waterfall via McMenemy and Girard Trails, then hitting the Old Pueblo and Wiman Trails on the way back. It is sprinkling lightly as I start up the trail, which is generally gives solid footing in the mud although some spots, easily noted by the slipping footprints adorning them, are not good places to step.

survey marker for the Johnston estate, as the right hand land must have been in Sept 1915
The trailhead includes a 99 year old survey marker for what was the Johnston estate.

Traveling by the estates along West Park Lane, the fountains have been drowning out any creek noises for a while, but today the creek is louder. Turning down McMenemy, the creek is not flowing high yet in spite of all the recent rain. There is always something downright pleasant about a eucalyptus grove in light rain and today is no different. Green things are starting to pop up on the stark hillsides as I start to climb to the bench at the junction with Girard.

succulents sucking up the water
Some bright looking succulents as I climb. Further up, lilies are starting as well.

It is dry enough for wisps of mist to rise from the mountains as I reach the top. The view out along the coast is better than expected and improves even more as I climb along Girard.

Carpinteria direction along the coast
Looking along the coast toward Carpinteria.

harbor from Girard
Looking down on the harbor from the early part of Girard Trail.

Light rain still comes and goes even as the clouds seem to lift a little. I stop by the bench on Girard along the way to the catway. The steep slope of the Edison Catway back down to San Ysidro Trail worries me in the wet, but it is fine to walk on. The ford of the creek is easy to cross before turning up the wooded trail portion of San Ysidro. This area never seems to quite dry out, so is not much changed by having rain. The creek is flowing much better, though.

mushrooms on a log
Some mushrooms on a log looking less dry than others have a month ago.

San Ysidro Creek
Small drops along San Ysidro Creek. The water may be a little higher than usual, but not much.

short waterfall
A short waterfall just as the trail turns for a small switchback that is sometimes more popular than the much larger one because it has much more water flowing over it. A tree has increasingly been obscuring it the last few years.

The creek splits and just after a stream crossing, so does the trail. The waterfall is up a smaller tributary and I make my way along the decaying path to its base. There is much less water now, but it is flowing below the waterfall, where it has not been seen for a while. The waterfall itself has had a minor dribble over it that is now greatly increased.

San Ysidro Falls
The waterfall is still covered in plants, but has knocked them off in some places.

water on the waterfall
There really is some water flowing.

Heading back, I have been joined on the trail by a few people. There are dog walkers and new travelers who ask to confirm they are going the correct direction to find the waterfall.

snail in a hole
An injured snail makes its way along the edge of a hole in a tree.

Old Pueblo has some mud right at the start, but it is the only spot. It is a nice walk out to the end and even has some nice evening light to show me when I get there.

C. G. Emery Tract survey marker from Jan 1909
An even older survey marker placed by the same surveyor. Corner 18 is also easy to find.

evening light
Sunset colors pop up with the sun behind a thick rain cloud.

clouds over  Santa Cruz Island
Nice lighting on the clouds hanging over Santa Cruz Island.

I backtrack from the end of Old Pueblo and drop down Wiman beside a reservoir. The very small creek here is not running, there are only puddles. Quickly, I am out the other side and walking back a short way along the road to the car.

©2014 Valerie Norton
Posted 30 December 2014

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