Rocky Creek Trail

Ventana Wilderness

Los Padres NF

January 2007

At the beginning of this year some radical cold weather had moved into California. Looking at the weather report in the middle of January it became apparent that several record low temperatures were going to be set. So of course, I called up a friend and went out backpacking!

We went to the inland side of the Ventana Wilderness in the Los Padres National Forest. I had never been in on the inside. With 15 degree temperatures upcoming, we strappped on some Duraflame logs and headed on up the Rocky Creed trail. The trail started out following up a beautiful ridge with gorgeous mountain views. After going past an embankment it leveled out to be right at the creek bed with a wonderful forest floor covered in leaves. At the end was a lovely creekside campground complete with picnic tables, a fire pit, and gorgeous ambiance. As the temperature dropped, the logs started going to make one of the most comforting fires I've ever had the privilege of being besdie.

The temperature had dropped so much that overnight the ground had frozen. All along the creek areas where the water had been splashing up had created ice-crusted rocks and roots. Leaves on the forest floor were covered in a fine frost. The weeping wall was covered in icicles. It was amazing to see such little hints of winter spring forth right here in California.

The Photographs

Although the processing lab had originally lost my film, they finally found it and I had my slides back. I shot Kodachrome PKR 64 as the first roll of film in the nice sunny ascent and switched to a roll of my beloved and discontinued Kodachrome PKL 200 to do the ice and frost shots in the forest on the way down.

The camera and lenses used were my old Minolta manual system was in use. Click on "Next" in the upper right to begin.