Los Padres National Forest, Arroyo Grande, CA - Sept. 8, 2008

Los Padres National Forest, Arroyo Grande, CA - Sept. 8, 2008

WE AWOKE ONE DAY TO A BRIGHT SUNNY MORNING AND DECIDED TO RIDE IN LOS PADRES NATIONAL FOREST. AS WE WERE GETTING READY TO RIDE, WE HEARD A KNOCK, KNOCK, KNOCK OUTSIDE OUR WINDOW. WE LOOKED OUT THE DOOR, AND A RED HEADED WOODPECKER WAS BUSY LOOKING FOR INSECTS HIDDEN IN THE BARK OF A TREE.

THERE WERE NOT ANY MARKED TRAILS IN LOS PADRES, BUT OUR FRIENDS KNEW THE TRAILS WELL AND TOOK US FOR A WONDERFUL RIDE THROUGH A TRANQUIL FORREST OF OAK, WHITE BARK BIRCH AND HOLLY TREES WITH RED BERRIES.

AS WE RODE ALONG THE SHADED TRAILS, WE SAW LARGE SCRATCH MARKS ON THE TREE TRUNKS WHERE BEARS AND MOUNTAIN LIONS HAD SHARPENED THEIR CLAWS. THE TRAILS BECAME STEEPER WITH COLORFUL PLANTS AND WILDFLOWERS BLOOMING ALONG THE WAY. ONE OF THE PLANTS WAS COVERED WITH BLOOMS THAT RESEMBLED SOFT POWDER PUFFS.

THE TERRAIN WAS ROCKY AND STEEP, AS WE CONTINUED WINDING SKYWARD TO THE RIDGE TOPS OFFERING SCENIC VIEWS OF MOUNTAIN PEAKS AND THE CANYONS BELOW. RIDING ALONG THE RIDGES HIGH ABOVE THE CANYONS, I FELT LIKE ONE OF THE RED TAIL HAWKS SOARING OVERHEAD GETTING A BIRDSEYE VIEW OF THE LANDSCAPE BELOW.

AS WE BEGAN TO MAKE OUR WAY DOWN INTO THE CANYON, WE CROSSED ONE OF THE FEW STREAMS WITH WATER STILL FLOWING IN IT. THE STREAM CROSSING WAS ROCKY, SO WE WALKED THE HORSES UPSTREAM A SHORT DISTANCE TO A SMALL POOL OF WATER WHERE THEY ENJOYED A COOL REFRESHING DRINK OF WATER IN THE SHADE OF THE TREES GROWING ALONG THE BANKS.

THE TRAILS WERE INTERESTING AND CHALLENGING AT TIMES, AND YOU NEEDED TRAIL SAVVY HORSES TO HANDLE SOME OF THE DIFFICULT OBSTACLES. MOST OF THE TRAILS WERE SHADED, BUT OFTEN OPENED OUT INTO A GOLDEN FIELD OF TALL GRASSES.

TEMPERATURES WERE IN THE 70’S AND VERY PLEASANT.

AS WE WALKED OUR HORSES BACK TO OUR TRAILERS, WE CROSSED SEVERAL DRY ROCKY RIVERBEDS WHICH HAD WATER RUSHING DOWN DURING THE WINTER WHEN THE RAINS CAME TO REPLENISH THE LAND. WE REACHED OUR TRAILERS AND HEADED HOME.

 

STAY TUNED. WE HAVE MORE TO COME.

“HAPPY TRAILS”.

BOBBIE AND LARRY

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