Los Padres Back to School Week

Imagine back to school week at the Manzana Schoolhouse, photo James Wapotich

It’s BACK TO SCHOOL WEEK, which might be the most universally hated week of the year.  First off, for many people it means the end of summer.  That alone could be reason for the hatred.  It also means daily rituals changing for parents, traffic patterns fluctuating around the crazy kid-drop-off schedules and the dreaded H WORD (homework).  And we’re not even talking about how teachers must feel this week.  But, for the Los Padres, Back to School Week is a slight indication that our backcountry season is not too far off into the future.  It might seem impossibly far right now, with all that’s going on with the fires, but trust me, it’ll be here before you know it.  So, in honor of Back to School Week and with backcountry season coming up soon, we wanted to focus this email on a few upcoming educational opportunities that you might want to check out.  Tis the season…….

If you haven’t discovered backpacking or you’re interested in improving your gear, improving your skills, or meeting some new friends to explore the trails with this Fall; this is a great class for you to check out!  Curt Cragg is the lead instructor and brings in a wide variety of local experts to discuss all topics backpacking related with an emphasis on local Los Padres backpacking.  Topics include what and how to eat along the trail or in camp, basic trail first aid, how to avoid getting lost, what you should and shouldn’t be afraid of, the latest in gear, where you should get your gear, ultralight backpacking…. it’s all covered.  This will be Curt’s 5th time teaching the class and it’s been great watching the new backpackers hit the trail after the class and keep coming back for more.  We’ve actually gotten to know quite a few of the graduates on some of our backpacking trail maintenance projects as well.  To learn more or sign up, check it out at the link HERE.  The classes will be hosted at the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden and all proceeds go to LPFA Trail Care.



Class in session, photo Terry Wright
If you haven’t made it out to Wheeler Gorge yet this summer, there is still time!  LPFA super-volunteer and board member Gordie Hemphill continues to organize weekly interpretive events each Saturday at Wheeler Gorge Visitor Center.  Most of the talks start around 11am and cover a wide variety of topics ranging from local critters to dinosaurs to geology to trees.  The talks are designed mainly for kids and young teenagers but I promise you that there is something for everyone.  Not to mention any excuse to drive up Highway 33 is a good excuse.  Upcoming talks include:
  • August 27 – Into the Wild (Naturalists & Forester) Programs
  • September 3 – Saving the California Condor
  • September 10 – Rescuing Ocean Animals
  • September 17 – Amazing World of Bears
  • September 24 – Chumash Storytelling with Julie Tumamait

You can learn more here, or email WHEELER@LPForest.org with any questions you might have!  We hope to see you soon up at Wheeler………



REI is teaming up with the Wilderness Medicine Institute (WMI) to offer a series of classes this Fall focused around wilderness first aid (WFA).  These two-day classes offer advanced teaching on how to handle medical emergencies when you can’t call for an ambulance.  Certainly skills that are worth having and could save a life.  The classes are at Camp Arnaz in Ventura.  REI and WMI are offering two classes, information below:

October 29-30: http://bit.ly/2bkg79H
November 12-13: http://bit.ly/2biQOmE


Now you’ve learned how to backpack, how to do wilderness first aid and how to save the Condor; the only thing left is getting some new trail gear.  The LPFA will be hosting our 2nd Annual Used Gear Sale on Saturday October 1 in Santa Barbara (location TBD).  Similar to last year, we’re collecting lightly used gear, cleaning it up and making it available for you to purchase.  Gear guru Rik Christensen is heading up the event and if it is anything like last year, you better get there early!  If you have any old gear that you’re interested in donating/selling, there is both direct sales and consignment options available.  We’d love to help take any old gear off you and make it available for someone else to use.  All sale proceeds this year will go towards the restoration of South Fork Station, Dabney Cabin and eventually the Manzana Schoolhouse.  We’ll provide more details soon.  If you have any questions, please email: INFO@LPForest.org

There’s a lot going on.  We hope to see you at some of these events and best of luck with Back to School Week!

— • — • — • —
A few upcoming dates, events, projects, presentations or things you might want to know.
If you have any forest-related events to add to this list, let us know and we’re more than happy to pimp your event!

September 10: NPLD Jesusita Trail
September 11: Island View Trail Race
September 14: LPFA Backpacking Fundamentals Class
September 20: LPFA Trail Talk Series, History of Los Padres Lookouts by Craig Carey
September 24: National Public Lands Day Trail Project, Lion Canyon Trail, Ojai

October 1: LPFA Used Gear Sale
October 16: D-13 Hunting Season Starts
October 22-30: LPFA Working Vacation, Poplar Trail (ON HOLD)
October 29: LPFA First Aid & CPR Training
October 29-30: REI Wilderness First Aid Training

November 12-13: REI Wilderness First Aid Training


LPFA Transverse – Time for Backpacking & Ales

Cuyama Badlands, Don’t adjust your vision, that’s how it looks.

Hi Everyone,
Lots to cover this week.  For those of you who can’t get enough of these email updates (you know who you are), they are archived at www.LPForest.org.  We also post much of this information and more on the LPFA Facebook page.  Check em out!

Trails and Ales


Do you know what ‘Trails and Ales’ is?  A few years ago the Santa Barbara County Trails Council dreamt up a great event to bring trail enthusiasts together by sharing ales.  Since then, there have been a handful of these events across Santa Barbara County.  The latest installment is being hosted by the LPFA on Thursday February 19th at Captain Fatty’s Brewery in Goleta.  Captain Fatty’s opened up just a few months ago, if you haven’t visited, this is the perfect time to come out and check it for yourself.  The event is from 5-8pm with all proceeds going to support LPFA trail projects we have lined up for this Spring.  This includes work scheduled on the Mission Pine, Cold Spring North, Santa Cruz, Ranger Peak, Hurricane Deck, Gibraltar, Buckhorn and Gene Marshall / Piedra Blanca trails.  We’ll also have a silent auction and raffle featuring local maps, guide books, REI and Patagonia products.  Come on out, enjoy a cold ale, talk trail, we’ll be BBQing tritip sandwichs and meet some new friends.  No better way to replenish your stoke for the trails.

Almost forgot, we’ll be playing a NAME THAT PLACE game.  Send us a photo (INFO@LPForest.org) of your favorite Los Padres Camp or recognizable feature and we’re going to organize a great game out of the photos.  See you there……. 



Motivation to Explore


The LPFA is super happy to announce a new program we are hosting to introduce and share the love of backpacking.  Driven by Curt Cragg and Paul “Beeman” Cronshaw, we’ll be hosting a 6 week course on the fundamentals of backpacking.  We’ll be covering everything from what to bring, where to go, how to read maps, what to do when things go wrong and how to be confident along the trails.  The classes will be held in the Santa Barbara Area starting mid-March.  For more information see the attached document or email: Curt@LPForest.org

We’re very excited about this.  It’s going to be really fun.  Please share with anyone you think might be interested in learning how to backpack.


The ORD is hiring a Visitor Services Information Assistant to work out of the Ojai Ranger Station.  This is a great opportunity for anyone interested in working with the Forest Service.  Attached is a PDF with more information.  GOOD LUCK!

What better way to spend Valentines than on the trail with your sweetheart doing trail work.  Join Ranger Heidi as she continues working the Pothole Trail in the Southern Sespe Wilderness and along the Condor Trail.  Email Heidi for more details.  Great job everyone!

SBMTV is hosting a trail project on the 15th to continue work along the West Jesusita Trail.  They’ve been working specifically on some switchbacks that are having trouble knowing what to do with any water that comes down the trail.  For more information email Mike Tarpey.

Reminder that the LPFA has organized a First Aid/CPR/BBP training for Sunday February 28 in Ojai.  We have a few spaces left, please hurry!  To sign up or for more information please email:  INFO@LPForest.org

Late last week we got a report from an equestrian that the North Arroyo Burro Trail was impassable due to a large downed oak tree.  In the words of the great Craig Carey, “TO THE HILLS!”.  The LPFA Trailwork Tuesday bunch organized and spent most of yesterday removing the tree.  It was a particularly dangerous tree with most of the weight uphill of the trail.  Slowly and methodically the volunteers removed the tree piece by piece, ultimately freeing the trail back up for hikers and riders.  If you know of any downed trees or trail hazards along your favorite trail, let us know.

Super Volunteers Ranger Rik and The Chief, Before and After

Enjoy the week everyone, take care……