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previously climbed Wed, Feb 23, 2011|
Jackie wanted to do a hike on our way home from Los Angeles the day after Thanksgiving. I had planned to drive up Refugio Rd near Santa Barbara to tag Broadcast Peak, an easy summit that's mostly a driveup, but I somehow missed the turnoff while we were driving along US101 and chatting. Instead, we got off at a semi-random location north of Gaviota where I saw a sign for Nojoqui Falls Park. We drove a few miles along Alisal Rd to the park where we found a surprising number of other folks visiting this somewhat remote location for a view of the falls that would be all but dry this time of year. It's a short, 10min hike to the base of the 80-foot falls and while there was no water of note, there was a slow drip that kept one facet of the falls green with ferns year-round. The lack of water also made it easy to safely walk past the railing and dire warning signs to examine the near-vertical falls close-up. We both thought it was pretty cool and worth the detour.
The hike was not quite enough to give us the workout Jackie was hoping for, so when I asked if she wanted to do another hike as we were passing through Pismo Beach, she didn't hesitate. Valley View 2 BM is the modest highpoint along the coast separating Avila Beach to the west from Shell Beach to the southeast. We had been up to this summit five years earlier with Mom, but that was a much shorter outing starting from the parking lot above Avila Sea Caves on the southwest side of the summit. Our route today would start from near US101 to the east, following the East Ridge up and over the summit. Though steep and a little rough, it appears to be quite popular judging from the numerous parties we passed going both directions. The ridge has a fine view overlooking San Luis Obispo Bay, the Pacific Ocean and the shoreline running south to Pismo Dunes. The summit itself has few views thanks to trees and an array of communications installations, but that is only a minor detraction as most of the ridge on either side has unobstructed views. We paid a side visit to the slightly lower Pt. 704ft to the northwest where Jackie found a rope swing under an oak tree that she enjoyed briefly. Our return route went steeply down the SW side where a wide firebreak makes for another popular ascent route (the same one we used on that first visit). At the parking lot we found another trail leading west just above the bluffs over Pirate's Cove that took us back to Shell Beach and the residential street that we had parked on. We were both impressed with the mansions and their views that lined both sides of the street we walked on. A check on Zillow later showed the empty lots going for about $2.5M and the mansions anywhere from $4-6M. Jackie was sad to learn we wouldn't be buying her one for graduation...
This page last updated: Sat Nov 26 22:02:37 2016
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