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.
|The reptiles are out, like this huge gopher snake.|
|Up past the gaping mouths of carved sandstone.|
|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.
|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.|
|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.
|A wooden bench and a memorial stone. It is not the original bench.|
|The BUENA reference mark is still good.|
|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.
|The stone memorial bench.|
|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.
|Looking up at the lush growth the switchbacks come down through.|
|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.
|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.
|Trail as it climbs down the steep sided gully at the right.|
|A poem beside a bridge. Just because.|
|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.
|Heading back up the Fearing Trail.|
©2015 Valerie Norton
Posted 15 April 2015