Los Padres is Totality Hot!

Brrrrr….. A Chilly Mission Pine Basin
– Hello Los Padres –
With the “excessive heat” we’re experiencing around the forest this week we thought it might be nice to share a picture and story of our Los Padres in the snow.  Maybe it will cool you down a little.  This photo was taken around dawn in early March at Mission Pine Basin (5,300′) in the San Rafael Wilderness.  I had backpacked in from Upper Oso, taking two days along the Santa Cruz Trail to get to MPB.  It rained on and off most of the second day and the final 2,000 foot climb up to Mission Pine was like taking a shower each time I rubbed against any of the 7,000,000 manzanita bushes along that 4mile climb.  I was drenched and cold when I saw the campfire at the Basin indicating that my buddy, ‘The Masticator’, had indeed upheld his end of the bargain and backpacked in from Cachuma Saddle.  He had slogged his bike up to McKinley Saddle the previous night and backpacked through mostly snow flurries to the Basin.  We were there to see it snow and knew a storm was forecast that evening.  We spent the night next to a raging fire as 8 inches of snow piled up beside our tents.  The next morning (shown above) was crisp as we explored the Basin, looking between the clouds at the blue Channel, snow curdling off the trees and….. lots of hot coffee.
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The LP Piru Neighborhood
We’re hiring!  The LPFA is looking for a forest-loving go-getter to help manage our retail sales and grow the public outreach.  If interested, we’d love to hear from you.  More information at the link RIGHT HERE.

• So a bear walks into Reyes Creek Bar and says to Tony, “I’ll have a pint of beer and a……….. tri-tip sandwich”.  Tony responds, “Why the big pause?”   Wha wha wha…..  Okay, did you hear the one about the bear who stumbled out to Rincon Point on a summer Saturday afternoon…..?  Amazingly that isn’t a joke as a black bear did indeed find its way to the beach two weekends ago.  The photos are hard to believe but tragically the bear was euthanized after it was found to be unhealthy.

• Speaking of bears, this weekend at Wheeler Gorge Visitor Center is a presentation called the Amazing World of Bears by Kelley Swedlow.  It starts at 11am at the Visitor Center, which gives you enough time for a morning on the trailw beforehand or some extra time to sleep in.  It will be interesting to hear what Kelley thinks of the Rincon bear…..

• Do you Piru?  The water agency is charge of the Lake Piru Recreation Area is required to make changes to their recreation management plan for Piru.  They’ve hired an environmental consulting company to assist in the design of that recreation management plan and have released an online recreation survey designed to collect information from the public who use the Lake Piru Recreation Area.  This includes boaters, anglers, hikers, riders, hunters, Condor Trail backpackers, kayakers, campers, etc who use or pass through the Lake Piru Recreation Area.  If that’s you, please take the time and fill out this short online survey.  The surveys asks how often you use the Piru neighborhood, what you do there, what you like about it and what could be improved.  Certainly worth the time if you have an opinion, see link above.

• We’ve heard some questions about accessing the Whittier Fire burn area.  An update was released this week after an infra-red flight showed that some hot spots remain within the fire perimeter.  As a result the fire remains 87% contained and closed to public entry.  It might be a while before the area is reopened to the public.  Stay tuned….

• Last time we mentioned that Cherry Creek Road (6N01) was closed, it has since been opened.

• LPFA is excited to announce that Sunday October 8 will be our 3rd Annual Used Camping Gear Sale at Tucker’s Grove Park in Goleta.  We’ll once again be partnering with Gossamer Gear to provide some incredible deals on great backpacks and camping gear.  We hope you can make it and let us know if you have any camping gear to donate to the sale.  We’ll provide a tax donation receipt and the proceeds go right back to Trail Care.

• Sorry about the bad bear news but we’ve got some great wildlife news to share that might cheer you up.  For the first time since 1985 a wild-born pair of California condors have successfully nested and have a chick of their own.  You can read more about it here.  The nest is located in Southern Monterey County and is an important step showing just how incredible the condor re-population is progressing.  It’s probably not too far off that we’ll be seeing healthy condors on the beaches soon as well.

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Chumash cave 1677 eclipse & Madras, Oregon 2017 eclipse, photo AYoung

The eclipse was all the news this past week, you don’t need to hear about that, although some of you may still be stuck in traffic.  A little different twist on the eclipse was visiting a Chumash cave that very same day and seeing their rendition of a solar eclipse that occurred on November 24, 1677.  They didn’t have the benefit of months of advanced notice, nor did they have CNN covering the PATH OF TOTALITY.  It must have been something truly amazing back in 1677…….

Running and Trail Working

Fluffy Bear Tracks – July 2, 2015

Good Afternoon Los Padres!

This photo was taken earlier this morning showing some fresh bear tracks along the Buckhorn Rd in Santa Barbara County.  The Buckhorn was recently graded, which resulted in a thin layer of fluffy dust atop the road.  Yesterday there were a few sprinkles that fell in the area which added to the fluff factor along the road.  Right smack in the middle of the road were bear tracks going from Upper Oso Camp up through the Oso Narrows and onto the Santa Cruz Trail.  It was the observation of the photographer that the bear had been down near the camp getting at the water in the narrows and took the road back up-canyon.  It’s going to be an interesting year watching how the wildlife deal with the lack of water across portions of the forest.  If you come across anything interesting or different on your hikes, packs or rides – please send our way.  We’d love to hear your stories and share if possible.
The LPFA has been partnering with the Santa Barbara 100 endurance trail run for the past few years.  The event is a 100mile, 100k and now a 10mile run across the Santa Barbara Backcountry.  Our participation has been hosting an Aid Station along the course.  This year the event is Friday July 10 through Sunday July 12 and the LPFA will be hosting an Aid Station at mile 5 & 95 along the route.  Basically we greet runners as they enter the Station, register them into the Station, check to see if they are doing okay, supply them with anything they might need (food, liquid, warmth, cold, etc….), show them the way towards the next Station and pump them up for the long miles they have in front of them.  It might not sound like too much fun but it’s really a good time.  The runners are genuinely thankful to have the support and it’s great to see these athletes accomplishing something as remarkable as running 100miles along trails.  It’s very cool.  If any of you would be interested in helping at the Aid Station, we’ll be there Friday night through Sunday morning and would love as much help as you could volunteer.  Let us know:  INFO@LPForest.org

AND, in addition, the LPFA will be receiving all proceeds from the registration cost ($35) of the 10mile run.  All proceeds will be going directly to the LPFA Trail Care Program.  So if you are at all interested in running 10miles next Saturday (July 11), please sign up knowing your money will go to a good cause!  Plus you’ll see us at the 5mile Aid Station.  For more information about the 10mile event, please see the link here.

This past May, the American Conservation Experience (ACE) was hired to work a section of the Santa Cruz Trail in the San Rafael Wilderness.  The LPFA helped set them up at base camp and then guide them up to the work site.  Their mission was to work the southern slope of the trail that climbs from Coche Camp up to Mission Pine Basin.  ACE had 8 workers out there for a week hammering away at the old trail, which hadn’t been worked in over a decade and was severely damaged by the 2007 Zaca Fire.  They did great work, we were all very impressed with what they were able to accomplish.  Don’t take my word for it, take a look at the photo above.  We’ll be posting more photos in the coming days both on HikeLosPadres.com and also on the LPFA Facebook page.  You can see the extent of their work on the map below.

Have a safe 4th of July!
Hope you can get out along the trail and please be careful!