04 January 2015

Sespe: Willett's Resort

Los Padres National Forest

DAY 1 | DAY 2

(Day 2 of 2) We wake in the morning covered in a thick layer of ice. The heavy dew froze in the night and our water bottles followed suit to large extent. I tuck back in to wait for the sun to rise. It is not that long a wait and the ice melts quickly and everything is mostly dry soon after. A little breakfast and water gathering from the creek because I have forgotten that the faucets work and Bernard heads off for some more soaking while I poke around up the other road cut.

looking from a cluster of composite rocks down over the stock meadow of the camp
A cluster of composite stones at the end of the road to the cold spring. The stock meadow of the camp stretches out below.

Plants hint at water up here. There is an outcrop of composite stone that has broken to leave openings into the mountain. White deposits coat some of the rocks. It looks like all sorts of interesting geology goes on here, and I miss the spring in the process of crawling around the rocks. It is somewhere below and can be found by following the pipes.

white crystalline coating
A white crystalline coating covers many of the rocks.

I head down to poke around the camp some more. The various groups have packed up, so I can poke in the buildings they were occupying. First, there is the cabin. The water in the faucet outside is indeed running. Inside, a log book notes that the spring box was cleared of willows just two days ago as well as many other things. The cabin sleeps four in two bunk cots and has a wood burning stove in the back for heat. It clearly gets plenty of use.

cabin at the camp
The small metal, wood, and stone cabin at the camp. There were three in here last night.

barns by the fenced field for stock
A couple structures by the fenced in field. The left one is generally clear except for a single bed was used by another group. The right is full of items that no longer have uses.

The same kids who left the glass up by the tub also instructed Bernard on the expected procedure to "close up" the tub when people are done using it.  With everything definitely dry now, we pack it all up and start back up the trail. It is nice to see it all in a completely different light.

north end of the Red Reef Trail
Coming over the first hill back and looking down at the north end of the Red Reef Trail.

junction sign
Hines Peak is 6 miles from here according to the nearly illegible sign.

The area the Red Reef Trail heads into looks fascinating. Deep red rocks rise up deep into the canyon. I will get up it eventually.

eastern view
Small peaks around the river.

river flowing with red rocks in the background
Some of the red rocks on the far side of the canyon.

meadows along the way
The potreros in full sunlight.

a few tables left from a car camp
Oak Camp across the creek with a couple remaining tables from the days as a car camp.

We finish hiking with the sunset again. Excellent timing.

©2015 Valerie Norton
Posted 20 January 2015

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