Posted by ws1 on:
When I saw the light frosting of snow on the mountains today (around 12:30), I decided to take a long lunch and hiked to one of my favorite spots near Gibralter road.
After mucking through the 4-inch-thick snow and mud for about a half-mile, I arrived at my special place, a giant flat rock that overlooks the city. At this particular spot on the mountain, the weather is hard to predict. Sometimes Santa Barbara is blanketed in fog leaving a sea of white. Sometimes it's crystal clear (so much so that you can see the canyons and beaches on the Channel Islands). Today, SB was partially obscured by beautiful little misty clouds that were forming right in front of me on the mountainside (evaporating snow!).
I snapped a bunch of pictures, and then - seeing the clouds quickly moving back in, I slogged my way back down the trail in my now soaking wet jeans and shoes.
When I got back to my car on Camino Cielo, there was an increasing flow of SUV's and nobby-tired trucks coming up the mountain, signaling the usual once-every-5-year Santa Barbaran snow pilgrimage had officially begun.
We coastal people always seem to be completely gobsmacked by local snow. Each time it happens, a bunch of kids with their parents, teenagers, and other curious folks always rush up the mountain to pack the bottom of their windshields with snow, or to chuck snowballs at passing cars before it all melts - which usually happens within a few hours.
Up on Camino Cielo today, everyone was strangely friendly. EVERYONE waves and smiles at each other from their cars. Even the douchebag guys with their oversized trucks offered to escort me (and my significantly less masculine 2-wheel-drive Honda) through the more frozen part of the road. It's like a natural disaster, when everyone drops what they're doing to help others in need - without the natural disaster. I wish it snowed here more.
- Santa Ynez Mountains
- some wildlife
- Santa Barbara in the background
- Santa Barbara over sandstone outcropping
- Camino Cielo
- lonely tracks
- Trail on the north side of the mountain
- Santa Barbarans reveling in the snow (this was right before I got nailed with a big snowball, thrown by unknown assailant)
- I would actually recommend chains.. But then again, I grew up here and don't know jack about snow driving.