On a breezy sunny day 2 mules and 2 Arabian horses set out to see the Upper Oso Canyon.
We were on the trail for 3 hours and traveled 6.75 miles.
For the mule gals it was home turf, for the visitors from Lebec it was a real treat.
I did my usual trick of backing through the open gate and daring the others to do likewise. The mules aced it, and then with a little consternation and swishing of tails the Arabs did too.
Then it was down the Arroyo Burro Road to cross the Santa Ynez River,
that was so sparkling and lush a month ago when I was here last.
Now it has once again gone underground and was only a pathway of rocks.
Paradise Road / Gibralter Road
carved into the hillside,
which has recently been re-opened to vehicular traffic
but we saw very few cars
and they were all driven by courteous older men who slowed down as they passed us.
Then passing the Lower Oso Day Use area
we turned up the canyon.
Oh look............ a mule deer!
And we met the new Camp Host who gave us the good news
that the campground has re-opened and is once again available for use.
But what strange runic inscriptions be these on this rock?
Some of the campsites have not re-opened, like these two cement picnic tables that were washed downstream during the mud debris flow.
No one was camping there, but they could if they wanted to for $30 a night.
Most importantly the water pipes have been repaired, so the campground has water available for bathrooms and the all-important water trough.
The Arabians moved in for a drink
and so did the pretty russet mule,
the apple of Tobe's eye
She was not impressed.
"The world is full of magic things,
patienty waiting for our senses to grow sharper."
-- W B Yeats