|Santa Cruz Island|
|My route in blue|
|I found this on Sespe Creek. It's a perfectly mummified cat fish.|
The knife is 6' long so you can figure the length.
As I explored this small valley I encountered numerous game trails and the tracks of numerous animals. I startled coveys of doves every time I rounded a patch of brush, I mean hundreds of them. Putting 2 & 2 together I figured that the trail with the neon tape was made as a secret egress to this little valley, for the purpose of bird hunting. Intermittently I would discover a shot gun shell or two which reinforced this guess. Still, I hadn't located any lost Chumash holy spring. As I wandered the edges of the valley I started heading up an unnamed watershed to the ENE I found animal tracks and rock formations but little else. Figured I'd best start heading back. I was wandering down a dry creek bed toward the Sespe when I encountered something that put me on high alert. It was a reasonably new, forest green irrigation hose, about 4" diameter. There's only one reason for a hose like this in a place nobody visits, and that reason is for the illegal cultivation of marijuana. I sunk down on my haunches and thought this through for a bit. It was obvious that no water flowed through the hose, so it was probably abandoned, and therefore unlikely to be a hazardous place to go. I followed the hose, which was well concealed in the places, for about 300 feet before it terminated in a small, brush-cleared dell under some trees. I found some trash there but figured it was too close to the 33 to require a round-the-clock camping type operation. No, I didn't find any grass.
|The irrigation hose I found, concealed in places.|
Obviously an abandoned grow site.
|Rock formations along the northern boundary|
of the "mystery valley".
|Red Tail Hawk feathers|
|The "mystery valley"|
|The Cuyama Badlands, from the 33.|
|Above and below: The Reyes Ranch house|
For the second installment of the day, click Part 2