Monday, December 5

Sespe Creek Wilderness Camping

Please click any photo to enlarge. Details are much better. Enjoy.

The above photograph is my first night sky long exposure rough achievement. Gladly taken, for 19 minutes, in the mid 40's fahrenheit, pointed towards the northeast stars, along a tributary of the Sespe Creek, with the small glow of a campfire in the trees.

Facing what I believe is our seventh camping trip of the year, a small troupe of friends set up our tents on the edge of only one of four natural Condor reserves in America, the Sespe Creek Wilderness, outside of Ojai, California. By nightfall on Friday, our staggered arrival finally brought all our adventurers to basecamp, Rose Valley.

The first night we celebrated our dear friend Carlos' quarter of a century birthday, this being the primary motivation for a trip into the outdoors. With a very chilly night & a few hearty laughs, we all set in for a night of rest.

To make an unpleasant story short, we learned quickly that we were camping next to the worst, inebriated, neighbors any of the six of us had ever encountered. Bright an early the next morning, with frost covering everything, Andrew & I took to our cameras. The photo below was captured with cold shaky hands, the sliver of moon in the top middle is just a happy accident.

After breakfast, we set off through the Sespe Creek Wilderness. With mild elevation gain & a few creek crossings the experience was great. The changing falls leavings lining the creek bed of the entire hike is what truly made this a magnificent trip.

After a few twist and turns the valley really opened up. You can notice us hiking in the bottom right side of the above picture. Also take notice, foreshadowed in the clouds, the over 50% chance of rain coming that night.

More time along the trail, pictured above and below. The trail we are hiking consists of two different hot springs destinations, one at nine miles in & the second at fifteen miles in. Mostly over night backpacking in this area.

 Eventually pausing to notice a particularity beautiful grove of trees at the waters edge, we inadvertently found our destination. After a heart lunch & an awe inspiring view of the nature's changing leaves, we set out for some rock hopping.

The creek was like nothing I had experienced before. The colors blending with the still water & the slight call of birds off in the trees. Breathing it all in, deep between the valley hills.

Below is a fairly wide shot of our lunch location along Sespe Creek. Truly a fantastic day hike with some great friends.

That evening we didn't quite get the frost. Pictured below, we got a slow moving cloud cover that turned to an overnight drizzle, not too bad we thought. As morning broke, the rain began to come down steady, but nothing serious. After a rousing game of Scrabble & bagels for breakfast (inside the largest tent Ive ever been in) we set out to tear down camp in the rain & caravan outta the Sespe Creek & the Los Padres National Forest.

 "The landscape is like being there with a powerful personality and I'm searching for just the right angles to make that portrait come across as meaningfully as possible." Galen Rowell

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