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Santa Barbara Hikes

Photos from Dabney Cabin, Sept 2011

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Trailhacker led a Sierra Club hike to Dabney Cabin. It's about a 13 mile round trip hike that's relatively easy since the trail is mostly flat. There are numerous creek crossings, but by this time of year, which was September, the creek crossings are easy and you can keep your feet dry or pretty dry.

The day featured dramatic weather. There was thunder and lightning. We passed a lightning-started brush fire below Figueroa Mountain Road in the Goat Rocks area. We helped a CHP officer find Figueroa Mountain Road at Cachuma saddle so that he could close the road.

Normally it's sunny and hot. It was beautiful with the clouds. A little humid, too.
 
 
There was a hive of yellow jackets on the trail. We tried to run through them, but everyone stopped running too soon. I got stung on my belly. The yellow jackets like to burrow into tight places just like ticks and sting you. Half of us got stung.
Looking up the Potrero Trail toward Hurricane Deck.
The leaders set quite a blistering pace. I had to run every now and then to keep up. Especially if I stopped to take a picture.
Fall had started to set in. Few flowers remained. The grass was all dry. Some trees and the poison oak were starting to turn colors.
Trailhacker pointing out some creature on the trail.
There's something very pleasant about all the potreros along the trail.
Around a bend we could see the craggy cliffs above us. There's a thin, narrow opening in the cliff we call the eye of the needle. Some people call these cliffs Castle Rock. We call another rock up on Lost Valley Trail Castle Rock. This causes some confusion.
Lookin up at the western end of Hurricane Deck, or therabouts. The actual trail is probably further back and these are just the edge of the escarpment.
Here's some poison oak turning colors.
Here's the turnoff to Horseshoe Meadows. There's a camp and a nice swimming hole at the end of this faint trail.
More cliffs.
Just a little beyond the turnoff to Horseshoe Meadows you reach the creek again. You can get to the swimming hole by just going up the creek right here. The swimming hole is just beyond these conglomerate cliffs on the right side.
The colors on this lovely fall day were subtle yet beautiful.
Rokrover has climbed on this cliffs. He said they are just crumbly and barely consolidated. Somehow he found a way to get up there and explore.
 
After a long section of dirt-road walking, we finally came to the cabin. We stopped here for lunch.
 
We started back after a nice lunch break.
Pretty boring pictures, huh. Just the same cliffs over and over again.
This looked more interesting in person.
These red berries didn't look like something you could eat. They looked very bright red and juicy but something about them didn't look edible. I didn't even try to taste them.
These dry bushes were all curled up.
Some interesting conglomerate formations jutted out of the chaparral.
I tasted these. They were sort of flavorless but not bitter or anything. I didn't eat them. I'm not sure what they are. They don't turn up in my edible plants book.
Here's those bright red ones again.
To avoid the yellow jackets, I decided I would hike along the creek from Potrero Camp back to the cars. I didn't find an actual trail. I just sort of went along the path of least resistance. It was really nice down in the creek. I wish there was a real trail down there. It would be really nice.
 
There were a couple spots where it looked like nice swimming holes would form. Although the water was super warm, there wasn't enough of it left for swimming.
 
Nearer now to the cars, I found a faint trail. Looks like hunters use the trail. Lots of shot up beer cans and toilet paper. Hunters really have no clue when it comes to pooping in the woods and not leaving an announcement to the whole world about it.

After a brief foot soak in the creek, we began the drive home. We looked toward where the fire had been this morning but there was no longer any evidence of it.