Saturday, March 24, 2012

Photo Essay: Rattlesnake Canyon, Santa Barbara

When we got to Santa Barbara, we were under threat of rain, but we figured we had just enough time to get a hike in. I hadn't been so fortunate on my last trip to the area, dodging the pouring rain for tacos and wine, so I was eager to explore some of the foothills of Los Padres National Forest.



We went to Rattlesnake Canyon without aid of a map, something with which I normally arm myself when I go out hiking alone. Edith had a list of milestones along the trail - hollow tree, creek crossing, etc. - but when I asked, "How long is the hike?", Edith said she didn't know.



"But how will we know when we've gotten there?" I asked. Edith shrugged, and I recalled Red Rock Canyon when a fellow hiker told me the trail went on infinitely.

"I guess we'll just go as far as we want to go and then we'll turn around..." I offered, and we agreed, and set off.



We wandered past wildflowers...







...burned-out trees...



...into the mist that hung low.



We climbed through terrain that went from sandy to rocky to crossings of creek and clay...


...past huge boulders...





...and emptied out into a hazy meadow...



...which led us 2.5 miles in to the intersection with the Tunnel Trail, our impromptu, designated endpoint.



On our return trip along the same trail, visibility reduced to barely nothing...



...a glimpse into what our drive through Los Padres to Solvang would be like later that day...



...and the rain we would eventually encounter the next day.

To become a fan on Facebook, click here.