The McKenna Paradox

“And as he drove on, the rain clouds dragged down the sky after him for, though he did not know it, Rob McKenna was a Rain God. All he knew was that his working days were miserable and he had a succession of lousy holidays. All the clouds knew was that they loved him and wanted to be near him, to cherish him and water him.”

from So Long, and Thanks for all the Fish

I feel his pain.

Just so we’re clear, this site is based in southern California. Beaches, awesome weather, mild winters, great year-round outdoor adventure climate … you know, southern California.


This past fall and winter, we got lucky with some uncommonly mild weather (some exceptions applied) that allowed us to trek the Sespe in the mid-70s (November), Tar Creek in the high 80s (December), Santa Paula Canyon in the low 80s (January), across the Dick Smith for 6 days without a cloud in the sky (February) … the list goes on. Yes, we southern California trampers are an incredibly spoiled lot.


Checking In

But now, as the weather should be turning to summer, we’ve been beset these past few months with rain, drizzle, rain, low-elevation snows, more rain, sleet, flooding, more rain ….

We’ve taken McKenna’s mantle and been dogged by “bad” weather these past few weekends: waking up at 0400 covered in snow atop Mt Pinos on Memorial Day weekend; shaking in the 40mph winds atop Frazier Mountain, slogging through the elevated creek and river levels across the Los Padres … whilst a huge majority of the Forest roads remain closed due to storm damage.

Memorial Weekend 2011: McGill 1 of 3

Home for an Afternoon

"What's that Shadow on the Blind?"

Maddening stuff, but closed roads can also make for some great hiking, along stretches of the Forest you might not otherwise take the time to observe when behind the wheel. Enjoy it while you can — because soon enough the trucks, cars, motorbikes, and all the idiots, litter, noise, graffiti and trash that comes with them will be back.

Enjoy the Forest while it’s still yours and yours alone; while the Forest still belongs to the folks willing to earn it.



3 responses to “The McKenna Paradox”

  1. “Enjoy the Forest while it’s still yours and yours alone; while the Forest still belongs to the folks willing to earn it.”

    Alright, then it’s settled. I was just lying on the couch looking out the window debating whether or not to hike back Billiard Flats way. . .I’ve been wanting to get back there again while the gate is still closed and before it gets too hot, and your last post refocused my attention on the idea. I’m gone.

  2. Well apparently the road down to Juncal is still open to the chosen few, just not us lumpenprole. When I showed up at 8:45 pm there was a white Wrangler Jeep parked at the mouth of Alder Creek. When I was walking out at 7:45 the next morning it was gone. There were no tracks heading toward Matilija so, unless it came in from thataway long enough ago to allow the wind to erase the tracks, it must of come down from East Camino Cielo.

  3. Jack, did you stay at Alder that night? Or … just somewhere else?

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