After a couple of weeks of sun and warm temps in the 70's and 80's, I decided to check out California. Once that decision was made, should I explore around the Encinitas area north of San Diego where Marty Sedluk has made a 4th home, ok, I'll do that. But then I began thinking about the Santa Ynez Valley area where I have been many times and so what the heck, drive 9 hours to what you see above.
I really enjoy the restaurants in the area and ate at one of my favs on Monday evening and then jumped on the bike Tuesday and headed out Ballard Canyon Road and then Foxen Canyon where I saw a herd of goats, with the two above munching on the leaves. It is all uphill and after 15 miles, elevation gained is around 1800'.
The maritime fog persisted so the views were not as good but still....
At the top of the Foxen Canyon climb, the sun began to break through to the west and north. While this area is spectacular, I would not want to live this close to the coast where practically every morning you awake to clouds and what looks like rain. Sure, it burns off 90% of the time but I need to explore south of here for an eventual move out of Ohio.
I stopped at the Sisquoc store and then kept going northwest, passing this oddity, a nursery growing cactus. Geesh, just drive east a couple hundred miles and you can dig them out of the sand by the thousands.
More acres have been planted in grapes. You people are drinking way too much wine.
Along Foxen Canyon Road, you pass the Rancho Sisquoc winery with the San Ramon Chapel, built in 1875.. The original owners were part of a land grant from Mexico that goes back in to the early 1800's when 37,000 acres were acquired. Not a bad stomping grounds.
Reaching the top of Tepusquet, the views northward are incredible. It's around a 10 mile climb but not steep until the end.
Emerging from the Eucalyptus trees along Foxen Canyon.
The oak trees are everywhere, dotting the landscape in the farms and fields. Finished with 84 miles and 5400' of climbing. A great day for a bike ride. Then, the forecast changed and it began to rain. The next day was forecast for rain and blustery conditions for the following day. I looked at the forecast for Tucson and it was sun and 80, so, I checked out of the hotel and headed back, driving through Palm Springs and 60mph winds, finally reaching Tucson. Well, much more cycling and hiking to come. I'm coming backc when Ohio weather improves....checking that forecast....ugh.