The Sound of Water.
On Thursday afternoon January 12, after several lovely days and nights of rain, the sun appeared and it was time for a drive. There was a rumor of possible snow on the pass so Greg and I headed out on "disaster" patrol. We'd been down to Goleta Beach on Monday to see that the Slough had opened up to the ocean. The week before on a walk at Devereux we witnessed the complete change of that slough from almost empty, to completely full. Some big changes after 3.5 inches of rain. So, we thought we'd check out the Santa Ynez River and Lake Cachuma.
The first thing you notice driving down the Santa Ynez side of the pass is that the back country is now very green. We turned down Paradise Road and headed towards White Rock Day Use Area where we had painted back in August. At that time the river was dry and the landscape blackened by the Rey Fire. As we made the turn near Fremont Tractwe saw the river moving. We pulled into the day use parking lot and walked quickly to the river's edge. Wow, the dry, rocky river bottom where we had stood and painted back in August is now completely under flowing water. I checked out several places where we had painted, hoping to take a photo from each vantage point for comparison but all are under water! I took a short video looking down upon the spot where I had painted Scorched River Bed months earlier. What a change. Nice to hear the sound of running water.
Next, we headed towards Bradbury Dam on the west end of Lake Cachuma. From the car we could see a river now running towards the lake. At the dam overlook there didn't seem to be much of a change in the water level but I hiked down to the edge of the lake, to a spot we explored back in November. Here I saw a change, the mud cracked edge of the lake where we had hiked out, is now underwater. Back on top, at the parking lot the light was fading and rain was imminent so we headed back to Santa Barbara. It was a great afternoon adventure. Dark clouds and double rainbows followed us home. I hear we have a couple of storms coming next week!