Monday, September 19, 2016

American Canyon Trail Hike

Today my buddy Mike and I drove out to American Canyon Campground on the Santa Lucia District of the Los Padres National Forest. We visited this location 5 miles beyond a gate on Avenales Ranch Road that is usually locked for 47 weeks out of the year except for the last five weeks of deer-hunting season. I recently read an article in a local newspaper about this and noted it to my buddy that we probably need to do this while we can so we did. Given it was summer-like hot today and we got a late start I elected to leave my dog with my mom while I hiked. Mike took his dog which ended up not working out as the black pooch had great difficulty. Mike and I despite not being in peak shape did okay, making it about halfway to the top of Machesna Mountain in the Machesna Mountain Wilderness before turning back for the sake of the dog.

Trailhead marker. We started from here at 1:16 p.m.
The view looking back down the path and to the southwest with Garcia Mountain at left.
We received a little relief with some cloud-filtering of solar radiation as moisture from Hurricane Paine moved into the area. This is the view looking east-southeast in the direction of the origin of the moisture.
We did not make it up onto Machesna Mountain but did make it about halfway up. This entire area burned in the 106,668-acre Highway 58 Fire in August 1996.
Am I the only person to see a face in this riverine sedimentary rock formation?
During our hike we noted the smoke from the Canyon Fire burning in on Vandenberg Air Force Base in Santa Barbara County thickening up and moving more in our direction. By the time we got into Pozo (pictured above) en route home, the smoke both low-hanging and high-altitude was thickening up. All photos by Kim Patrick Noyes (all rights reserved). 

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