Last week, before this latest series of rains, I wanted to do a little exploring in the high country north of Frazier Park (AKA Tecuya Ridge). Of course the roads that ascend to the ridge will be closed for the next several months so getting up there is a bit of a hike in itself. I looked the maps over a bit before settling on a direct but steep climb straight up from Frazier.
The morning air was crisp and cold at the time I set out, the sun just climbing over the eastern hills. After a mile of mixed road and motorcycle trails I had hit the wall atop my selected canyon. This little bit was where things would begin to feel like work. The climb was stiff, gained 1,000ft in 0.5miles, but after clearing the canyon I had a gentle ascent through rolling grasslands and deadfall trees which led to the ridge crest.
This portion of Tecuya Ridge had burned in a brief wildfire which started in late October of 2011. Though the fire had been quickly contained, a large swath of the ridge had gotten scorched and now, three years later, the grasses and desert scrub were retaking the south facing parts of the ridge while those mature ponderosa and jeffrey pines that had survived the blaze on the shady, north side were rebounding with greenery. I landed on the motorcycle track that traverses the ridge and paused for a little breakfast.
The birds were out, the breeze was cold, and I didn't have much of a plan other than to explore a bit. So that's what I did. I kind of roamed here and there, over hilly shoulders and into shadowed canyons, stopping frequently to admire trees or to listen to the breeze, to watch paired ravens play on the wind. The day was perfect that way, no need for a plan or a trail, time spent simply ghosting through the woods.
|Looking down on Frazier Park from where I started, the fire station on West End Way.|