Hello Friends – Happy Mother’s Day! It’s been a while since we’ve sent out a LPFA Forest update and we figured what better day to send out a Los Padres update than Mother’s Day. Lets get to it…….
We’ve all heard the saying about if a tree falls in the woods and no one is there to hear it…….right? While we can’t exactly prove that one, we can tell you that if a tree is obliterated in the woods by a rock slide and someone is there to hear it…… it’s scary and loud as hell! On a recent trail survey up Rancho Nuevo Canyon, one of our volunteers witnessed first hand a rock slide that literally destroyed and smashed a substantial oak tree into pieces. The volunteer watched in astonishment from less than 50 yards away as the cliff face let loose down the canyon, taking out trees and covering the trail that he was seconds away from hiking. After the dust had mostly settled, he quickly took a photo of the carnage (see above) and high-tailed it out of there. It was a crystal clear cool spring morning, no wind, no earthquakes, this area hadn’t burned since the Zaca Fire and no recent rain. Fortunately, there had been a few smaller rock falls just before the final large one that kept him from continuing down the trail and into the cross-hairs of the slide. The main takeaway of the story is to always pay attention while in the forest. It doesn’t need to be a stormy day for disaster to strike. We might want to put the headphones away, listen to the forest sounds, stay alert and follow your gut. While the slide was scary for sure, it must have been an incredible sight to see as well…… Has anyone else witnessed tree falls, rock slides or other random acts of nature in the Los Padres. We’d love to hear about it…..
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While not part of the Tour of California, the Blue Canyon switchbacks are looking good enough to ride again!
Compliments of a February 2018 LPFA volunteer project.
2018 TOUR OF CALIFORNIA
Each May, cyclists from around the world descend on California to participate in the Amgen Tour of California bike race. The Tour of California is a week long race that sends the cyclists 645 miles up and down California highlighting the spectacular sights and roads that make California such an attractive destination. The routes and stages change from year to year and as luck would have it in 2018, two of the stages pass through the Los Padres National Forest:
STAGE 2, MAY 14: Ventura to Santa Barbara
This stage might as well be called the Tour de Thomas Fire. It starts in Ventura, heads out through Oxnard and Camarillo before heading north up Hwy 150 through Santa Paula literally right past the point of origin of the Thomas Fire. From there the race goes through Ojai, passes the Ojai Ranger District, along Hwy 150 to Carpinteria, across to Santa Barbara and then ascends freshly paved Gibraltar Road into the Los Padres and up to the finish at East Camino Cielo. The riders will be seeing most of the burned areas during their 100 miles in the saddle. Gibraltar Road is sure to be a wild scene for those who’d like to see the race in person, otherwise you can watch on NBCSN live from 1 – 4pm.
STAGE 3, MAY 15: King City to Laguna Seca
The following day the Tour heads to the northern Los Padres starting in King City near the Monterey Ranger District. From King City the riders will circle around to Greenfield, head towards Arroyo Seco, veer onto Carmel Valley Road, passing briefly through the Los Padres on their way to Carmel Valley and finally north up to the finish at Laguna Seca Raceway. In all the riders will cover 122 miles and you can catch the live TV coverage from 1:30 – 4pm on NBCSN.
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Imagine if there were no trail volunteers, I wonder if you can….
VOLUNTEER PROJECTS & NATIONAL TRAILS DAY
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• Helen Tarbet of the Santa Lucia Ranger District does a fantastic job each spring documenting the flower show along Figueroa Mountain. While the flower season hasn’t been nearly as ‘all-time’ as last year, there’s been a fair amount of color if you know where to look. Attached is Helen’s latest installment of the Figueroa Mountain Wildflower Update. Check it out……
• Since it is Mother’s Day, we wanted to reach out to each and every mother out there and send our thanks and best wishes! You are all the best…….
• Wheeler Gorge Visitor Center is back open and looking better than ever. We used the downtime caused by the Thomas Fire to do some renovations at Wheeler Gorge and the work turned out fantastic! Thanks to all the volunteers who helped in the renovation, in particular Gordie Hemphill, Kasey Moorse and Cindy and Terry Wright. We’ll share more pictures of the Visitor Center soon, including an introduction to our newest family member: Freedom. The next event at Wheeler is Saturday May 19 when we welcome Ranger Kris to talk about the World of Bats. Hope you can fly on by……
• Tragically, a mountain lion was killed along Hwy 101 near San Luis late last month.