That’s the view of Lake Cachuma (yes, its water level is alarmingly low) from Tequepis Trail the other day. The trail is an 8-mile round trip that climbs up the north side of the Santa Ynez Mountains, with about a 2400-feet elevation gain, ending at a saddle east of Broadcast Peak. I walked with the ladies of the Santa Ynez Valley Women’s Hiking group, one of whom told me at the top that she is 80 years old, so there’s another good role model for me in the decades ahead. We ate lunch looking out at the Santa Barbara coastline and the Channel Islands beyond, then turned around for the return, downhill all the way.
I’m always impressed by the Santa Barbara backcountry with all its contiguous open space and hiking possibilities. And I’m surely glad I did this walk, because I’ve since been immobilized with the flu and all I’ve experienced of the beautiful days that have followed are the views and sounds and currents of air through the open windows of our bedroom. I haven’t been sick like this in a long time. Right now I feel very much like the little boy in Robert Louis Stevenson’s poem:
And does it not seem hard to you,
When all the sky is clear and blue,
And I should like so much to play,
To have to go to bed by day?
Oh, well. It could be worse. Monte left a glass of fresh-squeezed orange juice for me on the bedside table, and I’m propped up against a bountiful pile of pillows, observing the antics of a jay in a tree nearby, the shifting layers of cloud and light, the Saturday world cruising along without me. I am not required.