Sunday, June 26, 2011

Matilija, 06/22/2011

Edward Abbey once said, "There is science, logic, reason; there is thought verified by experience. And then there is California.". And, narrowing the field to an even more stupefying degree: SoCal. I take a week off to breathe less oxygen than usual and have to come back to this? Ventura's consistently persistent marine layer, known locally as our dear friend Coastal Eddy, is visible from the I-5. Back home on Sunday, on-call on Monday. My body crashes from the stresses of the Palisades on Tuesday, dumping stress hormones and lactic acid. Ruth is wonderful, home from a week in Chicago, life is good, so good. But sometimes I really wonder why I live in Southern California, it ain't my style. My left ankle (which deserves it's own blog entry due to the fact that under x-ray it looks as if Kathy Bates once had a go at it with her sledge) takes a friggin week to cool off, for the inflammation and pain to be busted by the ice and advil.
Yeah, so, back to kickin' up dust in the Southern Los Padres as we head into it's least hospitable season, summer. I chose Matilija. And chose wrong. The marine layer had barely burned off above the creek when I arrived, and though the skies cleared, the humidity stayed. And suddenly the day was both humid and hot. Which prompted the bugs to come out. The whole place was alive with the little black bitey f**kers. Really, it was a day only an entomologist could love. Wasn't so bad until you stopped for about 30 seconds, after which you could expect to feel much like a resident of Dresden, Germany on 02/13/1945. The only reprieve was to keep moving or stay submerged.
As for all the rest of it (by which I mean, the whole Matilija Creek thing), I had difficulty enjoying the things I come to Matilija for. That's how bad the bugs were. I literally ran from one big swimming hole to the next, would drop pack and dive in, shoes and all. Very different from clinging to the face of a snowed up peak.
Don't mind me if it sounds like I'm all bitter about being back in SoCal. I'd like to think I'll get back up to the Sierra a couple times this summer but I'm not sure that'll happen. Oh yeah, I forgot that Ruth and I are going to King's Canyon in August. Anyway, that's not my point. Point is, I'm back to busting on the local trails, documenting what I come across.
Thanks for all your comments related to the Palisades Trip. Davi Rivas and I hope you all found it to be a fun read with a few good pictures thrown in.

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