13 April 2015

Buena Vista to Romero

Santa Barbara front country

I have come back to this odd little trail to climb a little way in the shade (and a little way in the sun), visit the benches, and play with a couple very basic filters for the camera. The canyon is nice and shady, the trail as steep as I remember. At first, I think I can hear water, but then notice that the water starts and stops with the breeze.

big gopher snake
The reptiles are out, like this huge gopher snake.

carved sandstone
Up past the gaping mouths of carved sandstone.

dark and light playing everywhere
Crossing the dry creek bed. No water here.

Shortly before the sign at the trail split, it turns out there is water flowing here after all. It is not much, but it is more than a trickle and does make a delightful sound. It is also quickly left behind and the trail climbs up out of the canyon to the end of the catway.

trail split
The middle of the three pronged trail. From here, go up to the Edison Catway near Romero, or the same near San Ysidro, or drop back down to Montecito.

panorama of the canyon rim
Checking out the canyon rim in another poorly executed panorama.

Continuing along the Edison Catway, it is still a little more climb to the spur trail to the wooden bench. This trail seems more open than I remember it. The bench is the same and the brush over the benchmark behind it seems a little more open, but still hides the weathered disk from the casual looker. The air is murky today.

wooden bench with memorial stone
A wooden bench and a memorial stone. It is not the original bench.

reference mark for BUENA
The BUENA reference mark is still good.

segment of trail to the bench
Looking down the trail to the bench to Romero Canyon Road carving a way up the far canyon.

The road rolls a little bit as it goes toward Romero Canyon. The stone bench is on a spur just before it starts to drop into the canyon. This one is not surrounded with brush, so has always been very open. It seems less steep than I remember. It is here that I play with the new filters, but they do not seem to do much with the murk in the air. So, they are not miracle workers.

stone bench
The stone memorial bench.

small butterfly on a thistle
One ragged butterfly.

My initial intent was just to go up and back, but I may as well make a loop of it. The catway becomes steep for short sections as it works its way down toward Romero Canyon. I take a relatively flat spur to one of the power poles to grab a short piece of 7 Trails that is not actually a part of any other trail (at least that is what I have been told this bit of trail is). This trail practically jumps off the spur and down ten feet, but afterward resembles a trail a little more closely. Many short switchbacks and flat stretch carry me down to Romero Creek. The creek has nice flow, much more than in Buena Vista, but it is draining a much larger area.

lush switchbacks
Looking up at the lush growth the switchbacks come down through.

Romero Creek flowing over a rock
The trail crosses the creek at a large rock.

The connecting trail reaches Romero Trail just after the creek crossing. This trail drops quickly to the road and the return crossing across the creek. After the crossing, the catway I could have followed comes down. It is just a little further to the paved, public road. Then I have to return along the road, past the mansions with crazy landscaping. Also, it turns out, past the Fearing Trail, which I head down.

Fearing Trail
On the Bella Vista side of the Fearing Trail.

The trail twists around a steep gully, dropping quickly toward the bottom. A single bridge is provided, and a poem and seat with it, but the trail crosses the bottom many times below this. Eventually, it pops out on Romero Canyon Road.

one steep sided gully
Trail as it climbs down the steep sided gully at the right.

bridge with a poem
A poem beside a bridge. Just because.

garden escapees along the trail
The trail winds near the bottom of the canyon, here past a section thick with garden escapees.

Having reached the end of the trail, there is nothing more for me to do except go back up and pass some more mansions with elaborate landscaping.

Fearing Trail again
Heading back up the Fearing Trail.

©2015 Valerie Norton
Posted 15 April 2015

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