In order to ride the Oso canyon we staged out of Rancho Oso, a Thousand Trails Resort, that provides secure parking. We crossed its property, crossed the Santa Ynez River at the Arroyo Burro crossing, tracked down Paradise Road to the lower entrance to the canyon, then rode the trails up and back.
|The landscape reveals itself in layers, the further you drive back in, full of trails and possibilities for exploration.
This squirrel watched us track across the campground, mostly empty of campers and vehicles today.
Tobe Mule kept an eye on him in his stump home.
And if you were looking for a river, today was not the day. In a few weeks this will be a river, but for now it runs underground and the rushes and underbrush await the rainy season.
So we walked through the stones and sand, "fording the river", to access the road. The varied degrees of awareness and courtesy evidenced by truck drivers and motorcyclists is amazing. Real country folk know to slow down, people out joyriding in sports cars seem clueless. My thanks to the guy who rode up to us on a off-road motocross machine, cut his engine to glide past on a hill, then jump-started it up again and roared off.
Thankfully, we soon turned up into the canyon trail. Light showers of rain passed over,
Thankfully the animals didn't care about it, and we forged on.
And the Upper Oso Campground was a mess.
The roads washed out, campsites wrecked,
“Do one thing every day that scares you.”