Author: Lily Urman
CA: Santa Barbara Co: Cuyama Valley: Cottonwood Canyon: Condors Hope Ranch
Today was the first day of our second trip! We drove down from Santa Cruz yesterday and got to stop for a couple hours at the Indians. This was a beautiful paradise in California chaparral in the Los Padres National Forest. We got to explore the watering hole and surrounding areas and enjoy the sunny day back together again — it’s safe to say we missed this.
This morning we woke up in a pile on the tarp at Condor’s Hope vineyard and watched the sunrise over the Sierra Madres. Steve showed us his dry-farming techniques and we learned about reconnecting the culture in agriculture. We walked up the ridge North East of the ranch and marveled in the new worlds to discover.
After lunch and relaxing in the shade of the Blue Oak, we pile into the van and drive up to Bates Canyon. In typical field-quarter-fashion we spend the next four hours meandering a maximum of a quarter-mile. We are lost and immersed in our worlds of curiosity — Lupita looks at ants, Paige watched a spider, a group of excited onlookers witnesses two Western Fence-tail lizards copulate (it was great!), and the rest of us pull apart plants to try to figure out their secrets. Not even one day back and it all makes more sense: everything is new and there’s so much to learn.