Well, yesterday my good friend Julie agreed to come up and watch the kids so Billy and I could go up there together! I told her it would most likely be about a 4 hour adventure if all went well. Billy thought it was about 5 miles on the trail to get up there. He was right on!
She came up right around 1pm and we drove away maybe 10 minutes later. We parked at the bottom of the trail head at upper Oso camp ground and were on our way. We jogged the first 2 miles but as the steepness increased we settled into a steady push upward. It was hot in the canyon, blocked from any breeze and taking the sun and the heat beating off the ground. Then, as we came up higher and higher out of the canyon, we started to feel the ocean breeze. It was heavenly. A little over 5 miles and almost 2 hrs after leaving the truck we got to a spot on the trail that was right under the poppies! The trail continued on and disappeared behind a bend, but we decided we would follow a dear trail/ make our own trail straight up to the field of poppies. We sat down on the steep hillside in the middle of the poppies, taking in the view and the beauty of the flowers. We could see over the mountain ridge that is the back drop of Santa Barbara and had an ocean view! Santa Cruz, Santa Rosa & San Miguel were all in plain sight as well as a couple cargo ships going through the channel. It was amazing. We ate an apple and found some of the other trails we have hiked in the distance as we oriented ourselves. (Well, Billy always knows right where he is in the back country, so he oriented me) It was neat to see the ranch from the back side, Cachuma lake and the damn, out to Santa Ynez valley, and all the trails I have been on so many times. Aliso, Snyder, and ranch roads mostly. We tried to send a flash signal to our house as we sat there, but we had forgotten a mirror and were attempting with my cell phone screen. I don't think the kids would have been able to see it, but maybe. Who knows.
Once we took it all in and thought our legs were ready to go again, we cut back down the mountain side and back onto the trail. After emptying our shoes of rocks we started to jog back down the trail we just worked so hard to get up. It was amazing how quickly we dropped down, losing sight of the ocean, then the ranch, and all the other trails and things familiar. Luckily it wasn't quite as hot as it was a bit later in the day. We jogged all 5 miles back down, but by the last mile and a half my quads were feeling it! We made it back to the truck in about an hour, so our 10 mile journey took us 3 hours flat. We were (and still are today) beat! We walked down to the river which is just barley flowing back there and put our feet in for 5 minutes or so. Good thing Billy's legs were working good enough to man the clutch in the truck to get us home. :)
What a crazy, fun, amazing adventure date! I'm so glad we got the chance to do it!!