Saturday, November 1, 2014

A Preliminary Exploration of Trout Creek

Thorn Point cresting a sea of brush.

With only a half day to ramble, and responsibilities haunting my clock, I decided to do a brief recon of a little known and thoroughly feral drainage called Trout Creek. Anybody who's walked the Sespe River Trail has probably rolled right past this innocuous feeder creek without giving it a second thought. What makes it somewhat intriguing to me is that I'd never heard a single thing about it, even though it flows from directly beneath the prominent south face of Thorn Point. 

Now that I've spent a morning getting to know this little mess of a creek I am feeling compelled to go back and take a day seeing just how far up there I can get. I can say that the lower half of the drainage is a nightmare of brush, nettles, poison oak, tangled limbs and deadfall trees. It's not fun. It is, however, unique in one key way; there is no evidence of humanity in that drainage, not even the expected remnants of a Mexican grow operation. This in itself is remarkable given that every time in the last two years that I have felt I was sufficiently "up a creek" I have stumbled into the ubiquitous black irrigation hoses.

Though I only had a few hours to work with I was able to proceed upstream until I was at roughly the same latitude as the Piedra Blanca Rocks, which lie a a mile or so to the west. Perhaps the drainage opens up a bit beyond where I had to turn back. Perhaps not, and Trout Creek remains an extraordinarily clogged little stretch of forgotten drainage. In reflecting on the morning and it's unpleasantness I have concluded that I may not be quite done with this one yet

Thorn Point and Trout Creek.

Even the open ground was a morass of yucca and wild rose.
One of the nicer parts of Trout.
This is a bit more typical of this drainage.

Thorn Point, from where I had to turn it around.

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