Lower Manzana Trail, Los Padres National Forest
One weekend during my busy travel summer I got together with a good friend to go backpacking in the mountains behind Santa Barbara. I hadn't been backpacking for quite some time and was looking forward to getting out. After some indecision, we decided to go from Nira on the Manzana trail towards the schoolhouse. We got a somewhat late start, having decided to spend the afternoon doing a little wine tasting to find a nice wine or two to take with us. We reached Coldwater about an hour and a half before sunset, but I told my friend that we should press on as I recalled some campsites by the river up ahead.
We wound up making it to the campsite without a problem. There was so much water that just about every river crossing had water, some even above ankle depth. The pit right next to this nestled campsite had filled to about 5 feet deep making for a wonderful little swimming hole. Around the fire pit people had arranged rocks into lounge chairs! Nothing can quite compare with a great backcountry campsite, lounging around playing cards with some great wine and cigars and then a glorious midnight swim underneath the stars, the moonlight glinting off of the granite rocks in the distance. This nameless campsite must be one of the best to which I've ever been.
The next day was very hot and my friend had a long drive ahead, so we never made it into the schoolhouse. Regardless, the night was amazing and a welcome rest.
The pictures were taken with my Minolta system starting with a roll of Scala followed by a roll of Kodachrome PKL 200.
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