Backpacking in Cito

img_0788Two weekends ago a group from my church got together and decided to plan a backpacking trip.  Our leader, Rob, thought it would be a good idea to hike up to the top of Montecito Peak and spend the night.  Knowing that it is illegal to stay overnight in government land, and that conditions would not be ideal, we went for it.  Our group chose to meet at the base of cold springs trail and start the adventure from there.  We all showed up at around 2 ish in the afternoon on Saturday.  When we arrived, reality set in.  A group of 10 people needed to carry food, water, stoves, medical supplies, etc, up a 3.5 mile trail.  The supplies were distributed unevenly, and some were stuck carrying 80+ pound bags while others were light as feathers.  My bag was pretty small, so I volunteered to carry some of the supplies.

 

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We began our journey at around 3 in the afternoon.  Many day hikers we encountered asked us our plans and wished us luck.  At only about ten minutes into the hike, I dropped a half gallon water bottle and completely soaked my wool socks.  everyone was exhausted as we approached the 45 minute marker.  We found rest at the power lines, and as soon as our tired bodies found flat ground we sat down for a solid 15 minute break.  We finally continued on for another hour and a half before we reached our destination.  Unfortunately, I was not able to take any pictures of our campsite because of my exhaustion and focus on nature instead of electronics.

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For a few of us, who’s crave for adventure is unquenchable, the hike to the summit was not enough.  There are always those who crave to get to the top of the mountain.  Our group of 5 decided to hike to the actual Montecito peak, which was about another 40 minute hike from the tree at which we ditched our heavy bags. Right before we reached the top of the mountain, someone yelled, “banana slug don’t step on it!”  I looked down to find a massive yellow slug below me.  It was a cool sight to see considering I’ve never seen one and I did not know they existed this far south from nor-cal.  Anyways, our team reached the peak of the mountain and gazed at the sunset for a while while reminiscing on the hike we made.  After spending a sleepless night with little sleep and high speed winds, its safe to say that even the Santa Barbara mountains is no five star hotel.

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