Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Preventing Damage To The Front Country Trails Post Rain

All the Front Country Trails are extremely saturated right now and very fragile! Please consider waiting for the trails to dry out before using your favorite route. All water crossing are running extremely high and extremely fast, use caution when crossing creeks esp. in the burn area. Rocks are loose and can slide onto the trails at any time, one large slide on Cathedral Pk this afternoon. Information about trail conditions and the following photos were gathered to share info with the USFS.

Jesusita Trail(Tunnel Side)- Water crossing running too high to allow passage to Inpiration Pt or 7 Falls or Cathedral Pk

Tunnel Trail- Very muddy the entire length and slippery, several areas with rockslides.



Tunnel Trail has seen better days
Jesusita Trail creek crossing was flowing too high and fast to cross

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Heavy Rains/Flood Warning For Santa Barbara And Montecito Mountains

...A SERIES OF UNUSUALLY WET PACIFIC STORM SYSTEMS WILL IMPACT
SOUTHWESTERN CALIFORNIA WITH STRONG WINDS AND VERY HEAVY RAINS
THROUGH AT LEAST THE MIDDLE OF NEXT WEEK...

A HIGHLY PERSISTENT PLUME OF VERY DEEP SUBTROPICAL MOISTURE COULD
PRODUCE SOME OF THE HIGHEST RAINFALL ACCUMULATIONS THIS REGION
HAS SEEN IN RECENT YEARS. THROUGH THE WEEKEND...RAINFALL
ACCUMULATIONS ALONG THE COASTS WILL RANGE ONLY IN THE 2 TO 4 INCH
RANGE...BUT MUCH HIGHER AMOUNTS ARE EXPECTED IN THE MOUNTAINS...
ESPECIALLY ALONG THE SOUTH AND WEST FACING SLOPES. DUE TO THE
SUBTROPICAL NATURE OF THIS SYSTEM...OROGRAPHIC ENHANCEMENT OF THE
RAINFALL WILL BE EXTREME WITH 4 TO 8 INCH AMOUNTS EXPECTED TO BE
WIDESPREAD IN THE FOOTHILLS AND MOUNTAINS. LOCAL AMOUNTS IN EXCESS
OF 10 INCHES WILL BE POSSIBLE. THIS AMOUNT OF RAIN COULD BRING SOME
AREAS TO NEAR SATURATION...AND THIS IS JUST THROUGH THE WEEKEND.

WHILE RAINS ARE EXPECTED TO TAPER OFF IN MANY AREAS ON MONDAY...
MODERATE TO LOCALLY HEAVY RAINS ARE EXPECTED TO CONTINUE OVER
EASTERN PORTIONS OF LOS ANGELES COUNTY...INCLUDING MOST OF THE SAN
GABRIEL MOUNTAINS. AN ADDITIONAL ACCUMULATION OF 2 TO 4 INCHES ARE
POSSIBLE IN THIS REGION. THIS WILL BRING THE TOTALS IN THE SAN
GABRIEL MOUNTAINS UP TO AROUND 12 INCHES BY LATE MONDAY...WITH MORE
STORMS EXPECTED THROUGH MID WEEK. PERIODS OF RAIN AND THUNDERSTORMS
WITH LOCALLY HEAVY DOWNPOURS WILL BE POSSIBLE BOTH TUESDAY AND
WEDNESDAY AS A STRONG PACIFIC FRONT MOVES THROUGH THE REGION. SNOW
LEVELS ARE EXPECTED TO REMAIN ABOVE 7500 THROUGH TUESDAY. SNOW
LEVELS WILL LOWER TO AROUND 6500 FEET ON WEDNESDAY.

RAINFALL IN THESE AMOUNTS HAVE THE POTENTIAL TO PRODUCE WIDESPREAD
AREAL FLOODING AND DANGEROUS DEBRIS FLOWS BELOW RECENT BURN AREAS.
INTERESTS IN AREAS PRONE TO FLOODING AND DEBRIS FLOWS NEED TO BE
PREPARED FOR THESE EVENTS.

ALONG WITH THE RAINS...WIDESPREAD AREAS OF STRONG WINDS ARE POSSIBLE
WITH THE WEEKEND STORM SYSTEM. WINDS ARE ALREADY INCREASING ALONG
THE CENTRAL COAST AND MOUNTAINS FRIDAY EVENING. AS THE EVENT
UNFOLDS...STRONG WINDS WILL CONTINUE IN THE MOUNTAINS...BUT THE
STRONGEST WINDS ALONG THE COASTS SHOULD SHIFT INTO THE CALIFORNIA
BIGHT SATURDAY EVENING AND SUNDAY.

RESIDENTS OF SOUTHWEST CALIFORNIA NEED TO BE AWARE THAT THE AMOUNT
OF RAIN EXPECTED WITH THESE STORM SYSTEMS WILL POSE A SIGNIFICANT
THREAT TO THE REGION. WATCHES...WARNINGS AND ADVISORIES ARE LIKELY
TO BE ISSUED THROUGH THE WEEKEND.

LINK TO NWS PAGE

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Mountain Lion On Romero Canyon, Xmas Bell Building Party...

Dear Trail Users,

This morning on Romero Canyon Trail a woman who was hiking alone(husband had hiked ahead) was surprised by a mountain lion that bound onto the trail in front of her in hot pursuit of a coyote it was chasing. Although the lion was not interested in her, the brief experience did leave her frightened. The location was along the lower canyon trail and the time was around 8am.
Mountain lions have been seen on Romero over the years and will continue to be there in the future, be prepared when traveling in mountain lion country!
The following tips from the DFG are helpful when traveling on Romero or any other trail where mountain lions call home:
Never Hike/Ride Alone!
Avoid using the trail during feeding times- dawn, dusk, night
Don't run if you encounter a lion
Careful with small children in lion country.
For more info visit the Department of Fish and Game's mountain lion page
-----------------------
Ever wonder how all those bells you like to hear get on bikes out there on our trails? SBMTV is the group that provides them and they need a little help assembling them.....
Next Tuesday night, Dec 14th, SBMTV will be supplying Pizza to all who show up to the Rusty's Pizza upstairs backroom on Castillo and Bath at 6pm.
The catch? You gotta cut a piece of velcro and stick it in a bike bell. Yep, you could say this is SBMTV's bike bell build Xmas party.
Any way, help you your local trail system next Tuesday by eating pizza and putting some bells together!
Xmas Bell Build PartyTuesday Dec 14th, 6pmRusty's Pizza,
Upstairs back room232 West Carrillo Street, Santa Barbara
Contact : chris.orr@sbmtv.org
-----------------------------------
Finally, with nice weather brings heavier use out on the trails. Now is a good time to remind everyone of some simple steps to how we can all get along better. Our trail code page has some good tips for all users- learn it, know it, live it!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

CAUTION- Construction On Lower "Paved" Tunnel Trail

Use Tunnel Road trail heads with caution over the next few days. Construction crews will be using heavy equipment to clear the debris netting on the lower paved fire road as the blurry photos below indicate.




Sunday, November 14, 2010

More Bones Unearthed On The Front Country Trails

What lies beneath our feet out on the trails? Mostly dirt of course, some rocks, and....history. For the second time this year erosion has helped bring the past back to "life". The bone pictured below was only inches beneath the surface and thanks to recent rains, it is visible once again.

Having run, hiked, biked on McMenemy countless times over the years, I have never wondered what was under my feet. Running this past Thursday I glanced down and saw something white standing out from its brown surroundings. Staring at it close up I knew what it was, having taken multiple anatomy courses over the years. Definitely cortical and cancellous bone.


The bone as it was found partially exposed in the ground
Could it be? About the size and shape of the human femur
After sending these photos to the FS and SAR along with one famous forensic anthropologist, it appears this bone is non-human. Due to the size and conditions however, it was not possible to tell what kind of creature this bone came from. Keep your eyes open for the unexpected out on the trails! -D

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Upcoming Events At The Dirt Club

Hello Dirt Club Riders!

We just wanted to let you know of the 2010-2011 Winter Dirt Club Event Calendar! This time of year the Dirt Club is just awesome, and with the recent, and very successful 24 Hours of Halloween (Thanks racers!) the XC course is in the best shape EVER!


First Item of Business! This weekend, November 6th & 7th, The UCSB Cycling Team will be hosting DH Trail Work Days starting at 10 AM. ANYONE IS WELCOME TO JOIN THEM! The normal Dirt Club Trail Work Days rules apply: Work for 3 - 4 hours, doing nice easy trail work, and then you can ride in the afternoon! All we ask is that you sign the DC Waiver, if you're going to be shuttling the DH please drive no faster than 15 MPH on the ranch roads and remember that Foxen Canyon is a public road so all passengers need to be inside vehicles and wearing seat belts or risk being ticketed by local law enforcement. Please bring any trail building tools you can as well

Here is the calendar!

November 13th & 14th ~ The UCSB Cowpie Classic

November 20th ~ The Dirt Club Cyclocross
December 4th & 5th ~ Momentum MTB Training Camp
December 11th & 12th ~ Dirt Club Winter Race Weekend
January 1st ~ Annual New Years Day at the Dirt Club! $15 ride day and includes a BBQ Tri Tip Sandwich Lunch!

The UCSB Cowpie Classic will feature racing for both Collegiate and USAC racers in XC, STXC, DH and Slalom!

The Dirt Club Cyclocross is a first time event and if you've never tried cyclocross, you can use your mountain bike and there are free Kids Kross Races!

For info on the first ever training camp at the Dirt Club please contact Daniel Cortina or Adam Duvendeck via Momentum's web site.

The Dirt Club Winter Race was brought back by popular demand, so we hope to see all of you out there to just have fun with friends and family! XC on Saturday and DH on Sunday.

Also, brought back by request is the new tradition of riding the Dirt Club on New Years Day! This year it's only $15 per rider and includes an awesome Tri Tip Sandwich lunch too! Non-riders pay $10 for lunch and kids can get a hot dot, chips and a soda for only $5! So bring the entire family! Look for a flyer up soon at www.ridesb.com.

Keep in mind camping is always welcome at during any Dirt Club Event for only $20 per vehicle. We'll make sure that you have plenty of Firewood and that the hot showers are working too!

We hope to see you at many, if not all of these upcoming Dirt Club events in the very near future!

Enjoy the ride,

Mike Hecker - Owner
SG Productions
(805) 896-0673
hecktone@yahoo.com
www.ridesb.com

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

The Bro-Cart Has Arrived!

Check out Brian's latest creation, the Bro-Cart, an eco friendly bicycle cargo trailer:

http://www.bro-cart.com/

Thursday, October 21, 2010

The Tarantulas Are Coming!

Watch you feet when you are hiking on the Front Country Trails because the tarantulas are back. Here is one found in my driveway on the Riviera Tues.- D


Thursday, October 7, 2010

24 Hours of Halloween, DIRT CLUB TRAIL WORK & MOTO DAYS THIS WEEKEND!

Hey everyone this weekend, Friday 10/8 through Sunday 10/10 we would welcome any help you can muster out at the Dirt Club with trail work to get ready for the !!!

Here's the deal:

BBQ lunch will be provided Saturday and Sunday for those that get there by 9am!

Friday and Saturday the Dirt Club will be open for motorcycles, FOR FREE, from 9am to 5pm, the only requirement is that riders must stay on the race course! The course will be fully marked. There will not be any motos on Sunday.


Saturday and Sunday the Dirt Club will be open for trail work for riders in the local cycling community from 9am to 12pm, then lunch will be served and the place will be open for course pre-ride for those riders who have worked at least 3 hours that day. The work is not torturous and consists of mainly trail grooming, raking, weeding, etc., etc.

So please show up is you can, and RSVP too so we can get a head count for food. Thanks for your support!

BTW, if you want to race the you can get all the info at www.ridesb.com.


Hecky

(805) 896-0673


EVENT LINK

The Empire Bikes Back- 10/7/10


Sunday, September 26, 2010

National Public Lands Day, 9/25/10- McMenemy Trail, Montecito, CA

McMenemy Trail got a little more enjoyable to use after this last weekend thanks to the local agencies and in large part to the United Way's "Day of Caring". The Day of Caring, a 19 year old nationwide event provides volunteers to many projects locally and across the nation, provided approximately 40 volunteers to this trail event. National Public Lands Day, also a national event fell upon the same day as the Day of Caring and locally was celebrated on McMenemy Trail in Montecito. This 17th annual NPLD was organized locally by the USFS, City and County of Santa Barbara. Last year on NPLD over 1300 miles of trail was repaired or built nationwide.

Most of the volunteers that showed up had never participated in any sort of trail maintenance project but were quick to learn and worked hard despite the 95 degree temperatures. A mile long section of McMenemy Trail in Montecito was picked as the project site to remove overgrown brush and repair damaged trail tread. The event was a success and today McMenemy Trail is a much better place to use today thanks to the agencies and great volunteer turnout. Even more encouraging is the fact that many of the volunteers were interested in helping in future trail volunteer projects.

The Multiuse Trails Coalition and Santa Barbara Mountain Bike Trail Volunteers helped provide trail crew leaders for instructing the volunteers of this event and special thanks to The Santa Barbara Chicken Ranch for donating the BBQ at Manning Park following the event.










See the rest of the photos

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Smile You're On Camera....Out On The Trail

To try and get an idea of trail user demographics, the Front Country Multi-Jurisdictional Task Force is using game cameras(like the one pictured below) to get an exact count of user types and numbers. This topic was discussed and approved by the Task Force in June 2010 at a public hearing. Read the Independent article.



Sunday, August 22, 2010

Rattlesnake Dog Aversion Training In Montecito CA- 8/21/10

Let's say you are out on the trail with your dog and he or she encounters a rattlesnake, what would he or she do? The end result could be fatal if they get too close to these slithery creatures found on all of our front country trails.

How do you prevent your dog from becoming a statistic? Rattlesnake aversion training. Friends of mine brought in the specialists from Natural Solutions this past weekend to train their new puppy and remind their older dogs about the dangers of rattlesnakes.

The training involves the use of a shock collar with visual, sound, and the scent of the rattlers. My friends new puppy had never seen a snake before and was eager to sniff and paw at these mysterious creatures in his driveway. If not for the mouths of the snakes being taped shut, the puppy would have been bit several times. By the end of the training session the dogs were all very aware that rattlesnakes equal danger and wanted nothing to do with them.

The timing for this training was so perfect as a rattler found it's way on to the property just this week but was removed before the dogs found him.- Dave



A Southern Pacific Rattlesnake
The puppy becoming aware of the danger of rattlesnakes
How to prevent the dogs and handlers from being bitten- tape!
Natural Solutions
A short video of a Western Diamondback Rattlesnake striking at the handler:



video

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Montrail Vitesse Jackpot!

"They" are still out there, new in their boxes. "They" are the Montrail Vitesse trail runners discontinued about two years ago and now a very rare find. I came across these two pair while scouring the net the other day and snatched them up. If anyone is interested, contact Wind Rose North in Wisconsin, they have 11.5 and 12 in men's still available. Happy trails, Dave.



Thursday, July 29, 2010

Rattlesnake Canyon Trail Clean-Up With Visiting Nurse and Hospice Care

Some of the photos from this weeks trail clean up by VNHC of SB. Thanks VNHC!



Get your organization involved in trail work, contact Rebecca Mordini for more info.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Bee Aware Of The New Residents On Jesusita, Powerlines

Added 6/25/10, Reports of bee colonies on the trails at Parma Park also...

Added 7/10/10, Ground bees in the meadow of Rattlesnake Canyon Trail.....

Added 7/22/10, The Jesusita Trail Colony has dissapeared!

Several ground bee colonies have made themselves at home on a couple of your favorite local trails. Half way up Jesusita Trail on the Tunnel side, several hundred bees are living in and on the trail. The trail is all but blocked turning most users around at the site. Some are going around the colony using the hillsides above and below the trail but this is not recommended as the hillsides are very delicate and trying to recover from the Jesusita Fire.

A second colony is forming on the Powerlines Fireroad, 3/4 of the way to the top and is not blocking the trail but has doubled in size since last week. The agencies have been notified of the bees on the trails.

*Ground bees are typically not aggressive but can sting so those allergic to bees may want to use alternative trails- MORE ON GROUND BEES


PHOTOS OF GROUND BEES FROM JESUSITA AND POWERLINES

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Mt Whitney Day Hike 2010- The Tradition Is Finally Broken

An expression I like to use once in a while is "nothing lasts forever", and this year my Whitney day hike tradition did just that. I went up this year knowing that the snow level was quite a bit lower than usual but having all the right gear I was up for the challenge. The weather forecast for this past weekend was 0% chance precip on Friday and 10% on Sat, the day I planned on going up.

Of course the weather gods didn't see the forecast and as I arrived at the Mt Whitney parking lot Friday, snow flurries fell out of the sky. So much for the chance this was going to be a fair weather ascent, I packed all my snow gear and headed up the trail about 5 am Saturday morning. Things were pretty much status quo up until just below Trail Camp where the temps dropped significantly and the trail disappeared.

The problem wasn't that I had to get decked out in crampons and ice ax with full winter clothing, it was the dark ominous clouds hiding Mt Whitney. As I approached Trail Camp the temps must have been in the 20's with wind blowing and snow pretty much hiding the switchbacks. I met up with hiking friend John where we stopped to see if the weather was going to break or stay socked in. At trail camp I spoke with a couple of ladies hiking whom I had spoken with earlier and asked them if they were going to make an attempt at the summit. The two ladies answered, "we have been waiting two years for these permits and we bought all this gear, of course we are going." Now I am no pro-mountain man but when climbing in winter conditions, the date on the permit should not determine whether a summit attempt is made or not. Aside from the poor visibility the clouds were making, the chance for lighting strikes is always higher when dark clouds are present.

Needless to say along with hiking friend John we decided the smartest move was to head back down and hike another day. The trip down was uneventful and we ran into many interesting people on the trail heading up. Quite a few were unprepared for the winter conditions with no crampons or other winter clothing. Hopefully all that attempted the summit this day made it back home ok. D



Chris and John contemplating the summit with Mt Whitney hiding in the background
Hikers heading up to Trail Crest

Essential Gear

Mt Whitney hid all day long

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Can't We All Just Get Along......Yes!

Sharing the trail does work as was seen at Montana De Oro last month. An organized ride for bikers, equestrians, and hikers in SLO County demonstrates how everyone CAN get along.

THE PHOTOS (photos courtesy of CCCMB.ORG/Tim Sawchuck)