Monday, April 25, 2011

Sespe Overnight

Last week I talked my Sweetie into loading up the packs for an overnight and checking out a new-to-us trail.  From the Piedra Blanca trailhead in the Los Padres National Forest/Sespe Wilderness, about an hour from home, our destination was Pine Mtn. and the Fish Bowls.  The Piedra Blanca trail gains over 3,000 feet in 6 miles.  About 3/4 of the way up is this lovely spring.  Here I am checking for Giardia....   Nope, don't see any.
We found a nice sheltered spot near a little stream and set up our groovy super lightweight Black Diamond tent.  Once the sun started to set, the temp dropped to probably around 40.  There were patches of snow here 'n there on the trail at this elevation - 6,000+ ft.

Next morning we packed up and stashed our gear for the 8-mile out 'n back to Fish Bowls.  Apparently we'd had a visitor stroll by as we snoozed through the night.  She appeared to be a rather healthy gal.  We saw a lot of bear tracks and one set of mountain lion tracks.
En route to the Fish Bowls, we explored some of the amazingly cool rock formations along the way.  There are A LOT of 'em, and a person could spend weeks up here playing on the rocks.
After 4 smooth, pine-needle-covered, Grade A+ trail miles (definitely coming back here for a long run!!) we finally made it to the Fish Bowls.  You cannot tell from the photo, but this bowl was well over my head, maybe 15 feet deep?  We even saw a couple of fishies in there!  Still a bit chilly to jump in on this day but felt good on the feet.
We retraced our steps, played on the rocks some more, picked up our gear, and slogged back down Piedra Blanca, the temp rising as we descended.  Along the way, we came across this awesome fossilized rock with a beautiful design that we'd somehow missed the day before. 
I have been lax in the blogging department lately, but life is no less busy and adventurous. After C2M we had another two-week gig in Missoula, but due a nasty cold (after spending several wet and hypothermic hours at C2M coupled with nasty/germy airplane rides in a depleted state?), I didn't/couldn't do any big mileage there. In retrospect, picking up a bug probably helped WRT recovery.  Instead it was lots of yoga, some nice shorter trail runs, and we drove up to Glacier National Park over the weekend.  (April is not the time of  year to visit Glacier--doh!)  Post Montana and mostly recovered, I got in a decent 85-mile week with three 20 milers just because it felt good, the weather on the CA coast being warm, sunny, and perfect.  Nice.  :)


Meghan said...

My that's a nice bear print! Too bad you missed the real-life animal.

BTW, did you see yourself in the special Runner's World Trail Issue? Hope you like how it turned out...

Happy Spring!

olga said...

That fossilied flower rock is awesome! And 85 miles - wow...long forgotten number, and feeling:) Any chance you and your sweetie want to visit Pine Valley in mid-May?

ultrastevep said...

85 mile week? You are one fit runner! I'm struggling to get in continuous 60 mile weeks.

Nice writeup and sounds like you guys had a wonderful overnighter.

See you in a few weeks!

RunSueRun said...

Olga, if we are home would love to! Let me know.

Steve, could definitely be a lot fitter... and living at sea level, I will be sucking major wind at Jemez. ;-)

Bozobreath Gewurtzerberger said...

yes, let's go back to Fish Bowls - YOU can run the loop twice, stopping halfway thru 2nd for picnic (that I'll schlep in). Yeah, ya wanna?