Monday, March 28, 2011

Tar Creek 03/28/11

12/10/13: The US Forest Service will be enforcing access restrictions to Tar Creek soon. TC is part of the Condor Sanctuary established as critical habitat to this endangered bird and other wildlife. Epic numbers of visitors, and the trash and graffiti they have left behind, has led to the acknowledgment by the Forest Service that access must be curtailed and enforced. For more information on the impending action visit: Tar Creek Closure.

So what's going on in my part of the planet? I can tell you that I haven't spent enough time on a trail, or a rock, or the slopes. No, I've been taking care of all the other things that go into living a life. For example, Ruth & I spent last weekend in Palm Springs watching Ruth's niece Kayla compete at a cheer tournament. We've been down to a LA Kings game, been running Ventura's Arroyo Verde trail 3 times a week and, here's the main time consumer, breaking ground on a new kitchen and laundry room. Exciting times in the mountains? Not this month. So I apologize for being absent more often than not lately, a lapse I hope to remedy in the coming days.

Yesterday was a light schedule at work so left early and went (where else , on such short notice) down Tar Creek. As has been noted by Eric in Vta Cty Cnyneering, water levels in the local backcountry are very high and I figured that getting all the way down Tar might get a bit exciting. Just about any activity outdoors seems exciting lately. Alas, poor me.

If I could bottle yesterday and sell it, I'd make a fortune. Beautiful blue skies, snow on the mountains, rushing water, and temps in the high 70's. I can't think of how it could have been a prettier day (maybe if I'd hit last weekend's Powerball). I stopped and hung out with a couple of local boulderers for a bit before I passed through the Land of the Lost. Below there the creek was moving really fast and I had to do a little bouldering of my own to stay dry and alive. No sweat.
Both the big falls were predictably impressive, especially the lower falls. The thing that wasn't predictable was the two condors that were just lifting off as I approached the bottom falls. I got a chance to watch the birds for a while, eat, lay in the sun, eyeball the waterfall off Bear Heaven, do the NYT crossword, relax.
In all the years I've been coming this way I can't recall a more beautiful day, which doesn't mean the hasn't been one but...well, it was a damn fine day.

As for the outdoor void I've been living, I hope to remedy that situation as early and often as can. I've been training in other, less interesting ways lately: Arroyo Verde, the gym, the climbing gym, all of which pale in comparison to the satisfaction of really doing something. The point has been to maintain or improve my level of fitness, after all, Sierra climbing season is coming up and Dave Rivas and I have five 14,000ft peaks scheduled for June. I'll keep you posted.


  1. Whats up David, Tar creek looks insane right now. Great pics man. Instantly my mind starts figuring out a plan to visit Tar Creek very soon, but in the meantime as you see on my site I have been finding the San Diego waterfalls as well. Take Care Man.

  2. Nice photos, David. From reading your blog I understand that you have been down to Tar Creek like 150 times or whatever it may be. So it is interesting to see the different angles you are still able capture with your lens despite having been down there so much. You still relate an original view of what perhaps can become somewhat of an ordinary sight after so many visits, if this place can ever be called ordinary.

  3. Tar Creek looks so amazing. I just have to go there. Do you have directions available?

  4. Hey where is the waterfall in this picture? It seems like it would be well worth it to ditch the trail and bushwack your way over to the top of that waterfall to set up camp for the night!!