I teamed up with Rick Bartell for a gray day run up Matilija. Yup, a re-run hike for me. Rick hadn't ever been up the creek, and I never mind hiking Matilija.Matilija is a place in flux. Over the years I've noticed the sometimes subtle, sometimes jarring changes that occur with the passing of the seasons. This years rains have rendered some dramatic changes to my beloved canyon. Several of the finer pools have filled with washed down gravel, most tragically, the pool under the big falls at the top. No more jumping from the high stuff. The upper level of the west falls has completely filled with shards of rock. What used to be "the Emerald Pool" has been completely reshaped over the past two seasons. I keep being reminded of an old quote, "Geologic time is now.".
Back to Rick and his first jaunt up Matilija. Rick ain't young, but he is in great shape, and I put him through the paces. I've noticed that people frequently underestimate the amount of effort it takes to move through a rocky creekbed or canyon bottom. It's all that up/down, side-to-side, twisting and bending stuff. It's tiring, and requires a lot of muscles that don't usually get used. Ole Rick hikes all over the Ventura hillside, but he was not immune to the rigors of a creek hike. We wouldn't have gotten any further than the top falls. He was pretty done about 50 feet from being done, if you know what I mean.
Rick wound up having a good time. We took it easy on the way out, with several stops along the way. It's too bad that the day wasn't a bit nicer, but hey, that's weather for ya.