Friday, January 26, 2018

January 24, 2018
Luci & Fox Trails from Shelf Road
6:45 am
When you start your hike before the sun graces the sky it is a startling moment when the luminous light awakens the morning. The scattering of mare tail clouds turn pink and the sky looks like a watercolor painting and when you turn to greet the trail, the Ojai hillsides are awash in a morning pink moment.
The steep climb up Luci is an adjustment in perspective.  The trail is laid bare before us, we can see it's entirety snaking up toward the water tower and beyond.  Fire devastation abounds but glimmers of green are taking hold in the ashes.

We are amazed at the number of trails, long hidden by chaparral, are now all visible and beckoning.  The debris flows are so evident, leaving road maps that look like trails in the ash, that even non geologists such as ourselves can see that these will be aggressive debris channels with future storms.  The trail signs dotting the scar of a trail kept us laughing especially "Keep your TAIL on the Trail".

The trail is barely hanging on to the hillsides and we are walking single file, humans and dogs alike, with no space for passage from oncoming hikers.  It is a sobering moment on the fragileness and transience of our trails and we sincerely appreciate the ongoing work of the Ojai Valley Conservancy ground crew.

The beautiful glen that was full of sycamore trees is now a rock canyon, but we are encouraged with the baby yuccas and sumac we continue to see along the trail.  Our hearts bleed for the trees we won't see in our lifetime.

Many hikers are on the trail this morning and we are encouraged by their hopefulness and positive attitudes.  Everyone is getting back to the new normal.

Keep on trekking,

Beth & Laura
Bodee & Lucy our 4 Pawed Companions

If you want to help the Ojai Land Conservancy they have set up an Amazon Smile account.  Just click on this link to get started.  When you use the Amazon Smile link with your amazon account a percentage of your purchase goes to OVLC.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018


Phoenix Rising from the Ashes
Trekking Through Recovery and Awakening
January 17, 2018
Oso Crest Trail

We started our trek at the crack of dawn, the sun painting pink moments on the burned mountainsides.  Imagine our astonishment at the bleakness, the transparency of everything, the charred bits of past trees dotting the landscape in black piles.  We saw roads and trails we never knew existed, we even thought we were lost at times the topography so changed from the chaparral crests of November.

Our minds were desperate for some signs that all is not lost, that some life remains, will take hold and return. Trudging on, seeing absolutely everything laid before us, the rawness of the slot canyons that will be mudslides and waterfalls when the rain returns, the steepness of the cliffs and the trail barely a deer trail blur on the cliff shoulders, reinforced our view of a new back country that can't camouflage it's nakedness.

But then we started to notice green shoots spearing themselves through the ashes - the yucca plants were returning and growing.
We saw other signs of flora breaking through the burn scars, ant mounds, baby sumac and heard a few bird calls.

Ojai will be like the Phoenix rising through the ashes, always changing.  We look forward to new signs of life on our weekly treks and anticipate that the ash will bring nutrients to the soil and once we get more rain plants will grow rapidly. We have high expectations!

This is the beginning of our blog on our adventures into the new Ojai, we will keep you posted.

Keep on Trekking!

Beth & Laura