Old Man Thundercloud
What a crazy weather week we enjoyed last week, especially in the Santa Barbara and Ventura backcountry areas. It started with a tropical storm last Tuesday that dropped significant rain across the forest. Most of the Forest got rain with the highest concentration (one inch) occurring on the frontcountry above Santa Barbara. The weather changed on Wednesday and brought in some incredible thunderstorms that blanketed the backcountry through the weekend. There were reports of flooding along the Cuyama River and Santa Barbara Potrero recorded an inch of rain in just over an hour – that’s a lot! We had some of the more impressive storms that we get to see around here. We even heard comparisons to thunderstorms in New Mexico and the south west. Pretty cool stuff and we’ll certainly take every bit of rain we can get. The weather has settled back down and most of the interior is HOT with coastal regions displaying the typical June gloom. Always nice to see some exciting weather………
NATIONAL TRAILS DAY
There were three trail projects across the Los Padres on Saturday June 6 for National Trails Day. The LPFA hosted an event along the North Cold Spring Trail. Our focus was to fix a particularly nasty slide section of the trail that has been causing problems for hikers for most of the past two decades. We had a great time and did a fantastic job cleaning up the slide. Big thanks to REI, Figueroa Mountain Brewing, Los Padres Trail Riders, Jack’s Bagels and the Forest Service for their support of the project. They say a picture tells a thousand words, check the movie below:
Most of you have probably heard about the Condor Trail. For those who have not, it’s a route of connected trails that cross the Los Padres Forest from the Ventura/Los Angeles County line in the south up to Bottcher’s Gap in Monterey County. The total length of the trail is 411 miles long. The concept of the trail has been around for nearly 20 years, headed up by the Condor Trail Association. Over the years we’ve had a few people attempt to hike large sections of the trail but no one ever attempted to hike the entire thing….. until now. In mid-May a solo female hiker name Brittany started on the trail from Lake Piru. She has now been on the trail for nearly 5 weeks and is on pace to complete the trail later this week and become the first Condor Trail finisher. It’s been a roller coaster journey for Brittany. She’s had to endure snow, heat and lost trails but along the trail has met new friends and had some amazing experiences. We’ll keep you posted as the she gets close to finishing. I’m sure she’ll have some great stories to share. Most amazing in my opinion is that before she started this hike, she had never set foot in the Los Padres. Good luck Brittany on her last 60miles of trail.
Some quick updates on access issues across the Forest:
ROMERO CAMUESA ROAD
The gate to the Romero Camuesa Rd at Divide Peak is scheduled to reopen Wednesday of this week. A combination of rain and a crew working on the road has led to the closure.
DOUGH FLAT / SQUAW FLAT
The retaining wall construction continues along the Dough/Squaw Flat Rd in Ojai. The road is scheduled to reopen June 19 but until then the road will be closed from 8am – 12pm and again from 1pm – 5pm. Call the Forest Service for more information.
HIGHWAY 1 / NORTHERN SLO / SOUTHERN MONTEREY
There is continued retaining wall construction along Highway 1 near the Monterey/SLO County line. There seems to be weekly changes as to when the road will be closed or open. Currently the road is closed at night time for construction and open during the day. If heading along Highway 1 either to or from Big Sur, you’ll want to contact CalTrans to get the most up-to-date information on closures. http://www.dot.ca.gov/dist05/road_information.htm
That’s it for now. Enjoy the week………..