Hiking Uphill in the Sespe

by Lorraine on October 22, 2009

Last weekend I spent one night camping with a bunch of my friends that I’ve made through volunteering with the Forest Service.   Given the obvious fact that I love being outside and experiencing nature, this was something that I was really looking forward to, plus seeing the stars at night from a dark location.

We camped (And dodged bullets as hunting season had just started) at Half Moon campground, just outside of the Lockwood Valley.   The elevation was about 4,000 feet or so and our goal was to hike to a Forest Service lookout tower that is going to be de-commissioned and is located on Thorne Peak.

We set out along the trail and needless to say, it was a very long climb with about at 2,000 gain in elevation.   The views were spectacular as you looked out over the Cuyama Valley and the area was filled  Black Oaks/Quercus kelloggii at the lower elevations and as we climbed, Ponderosa Pines, White Firs appeared and my favorite…Incense Cedars.  

Black Oak

Black Oak

Due to the high elevation, most of the plants consisted of low growing Manzanitas and Big Basin Sage but I did see some Penstemons that were still blooming.   And in the area where the Day Fire burned two years ago, the awful Poodle Bush (An after fire species), the one with the mean bite!  No pictures this time.   See a previous post of this monster.

White Firs, Ponderosa Pines & Incese Cedars

White Firs, Ponderosa Pines & Incese Cedars

Being that I’m already recovering from Poison Oak, I steered clear of this bush.   The last thing that I need is another rash…   We climbed and climbed and when we got to the top, the view was incredible!

At the top.

At the top.

South was the Pacific ocean and we could see the Channel Islands, east to Mt. Baldy, north up the coast and well, what can I say?   It was an amazing experience.

The Pacific Ocean looking south.

The Pacific Ocean looking south.

 

Looking northwest

Looking northwest

 

Be careful up there.

Be careful up there.

Then back down the trail with my toes (in spite of tightening up my boots) hitting ever so slightly, the inside of my boot.   By the time we got back to the trail head, we were all quite tired but loved our experience.

I’m just wishing that my “little” Incense Cedar that I bought for my backyard, was already 30′ tall.   Just kidding, but 15″ would be nice.

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

1 Crafty Green poet 10.30.09 at 1:22 am

Just found your blog through Best green Blogs!

This looks like a lovely place to hike and camp, stunning views…

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