we rode here last month it was socked in with maritime fog, and today we wanted both to escape the heat on inland trails and also to be in cool coastal breezes. The sun was just peeking through clouds as we tacked up.
There is a nice equestrian parking lot by the school, so we were able to saddle up the animals and head on out.
As soon as you get onto the trails the mountains loom around.
Traveling through this pass always requires skillful driving at highway speed, and doesn't leave much time to gaze up at the beautiful surrounding land forms.
We all loved this trail system the last time we came, and my idea for today was to do the same route in reverse.
That always gives entirely new perspectives and views.
So we checked the kiosk map and then headed down the Ortega Trail that runs along and above Hwy 101/1.
There, straight ahead, is the slow-down-curve, and the sign that offers the mythical Rest Area that is always closed.
Now, very soon after this we hit The Rough Patch. It is never so hard to go uphill on washed out and rocky trail, the animal does all the work and you lean forward and say encouraging things as they find their way.
It is a whole different event when the very steep trail is gullies and rocks and big rain-gauged cracks in the middle of the trail. Suffice to say I was holding on and did not pause to take photos through this area.
But looking back the mountains made such a lovely tableau we stopped so I could take some souvenir photos. We are all, of course, quite dwarfed by the landscape we are in.
Jamie & Mosca
Deni Lee and GiGi
Terri & Renegade
Pat & Tobe
It is always a pleasure to have photographic memories of our rides, everyone is glad of them.
I noticed that many of the areas we passed by one month ago that were lush and vibrant masses of red poison oak are now visibly diminished, withering in the summer heat.
Even Tobe who likes to snack on the itch-inducing leaves passed them by.Hollister Ranch website: The rambling 14,000-acre Hollister Ranch is located behind 24 hour guarded gates on a working cattle ranch. Each of the exclusive 100-acre ocean view properties offers the ultimate in security, privacy and solitude. Wikipedia: Hollister Ranch is 14,400 acres (58 km2) of fallow and fertile fields, mountains and valleys along the Gaviota Coast in Santa Barbara County, California between Gaviota State Park and Point Conception. The area is some of the oldest known human settlements in the new world, the last native population of which was the Chumash. The land was purchased by William Welles Hollister after the Civil War.
As we ambled along the road we could look down at the estates of the 1%.
And we did encounter two older men on bikes who were very pleasant and courteous and waited for us to go by. We also saw one trail runner and one guy with a dog.
This is an illustration why Tobe Mule and I like to stay a ways back from the pack when on a dusty trail.