This 9000 acre preserve sits surrounded by citrus ranches and vineyards and suburban sprawl, but you wouldn't know once you are engaged on one of 36 miles of trails. It's a bit of a drive from me (about an hour and a half) but totally worth it. I am pretty sure I will frequent the hills of these ancient oaks, especially once it's too hot to trek out in my desert. Our trek of about 6-7 miles ended with a tailgate picnic of fresh fruit, olives, brie, and cool water. This is what Sunday afternoons are for....
Here is the link to this wonderful enclave of history and nature:
Santa Rosa Plateau Ecological Preserve
At the trailhead, trekkers are greeted by this sign. I'd imagine early mornings or evenings/nights would be your best bet to encounter this elegant creature. At the Old Adobe, they had photos from a motion scensor camera that captured curious inhabitants. Mule deer, coyotes, a mountain lion, and an ocelot (I think...)! I was happy to see such healthy creatures peacefully sharing this space.
|My friend, James, has walked the Camino in Spain a couple of times. |
He says it feels and looks exactly like this on many parts of that walk.
With my lens smashed up against the window, a view into the Old Adobe - established in the late 1800's. A working ranch, typical of many that used to be part of the fabric of the Southern California landscape - before gated communities, industry, and strip malls took over....
|One of many grand old oaks. They are HUGE. Trekkers must stay on the trails...otherwise, I would have been right on this one. At the Old Adobe, a 400 year old oak shades the homestead. Magnificent.|
|Just over this ridge is the view from the next photo....|
|The view from a bench on the boardwalk. This is a Vernal Pool. Well, it can be. Now the result of a severe drought. When this pool is full, it is rich in waterfowl life.|