I woke up this morning feeling like I've slipped down a hole into a depression. A gray depression of inactivity and barely aliveness. I hate Santa Barbara.
First we have Graypril. Then May Gray, June Gloom and July Gray Sky. Next comes the month of Fogust and finally Weptember. Weptember is when everyone weeps because they didn't get a summer. Watch out for Fogtober and Nosunber. Rejoice when December, January and February return bringing sunshine and climate-envy to us for a brief window we call spring.
I decided I would force myself to go for a hike today even in the cold gray. I suited up in a pair of hiking pants and a long-sleeved shirt and my new, wide Chacos, which I've managed to make fit properly with a needle and thread. The Man and I decided to go out for breakfast on the way to the trail, so I grabbed my down jacket since we like to eat out on the porch in hopes of pretending like we don't live in a near permanent haze of suicidal cloud-cover. How I hate this place that robs me of a decent morning.
We decided to drive out of the funk over the mountains and into summer. It took about an hour of hiking before I felt like I was starting to break out of the fog in my head. It was warm, 82 degrees or so and the sun was bright. I hiked through what PCT hikers call desert, but it was really just the waning days of a long, late spring in chaparral country.
We did a 14 mile hike to a 4000ft mountain, stopping short of the summit so we could eat lunch in the shade. Humming birds would hover right in front of our faces.
On the way up and on the return trip we stopped at the cattle trough spring to cool off in the water. It felt good to be hot and to cool off, too.
Once at the trailhead again, we decided to stop for a cold drink at a country store to postpone returning to the heavy blanket of coldness. Since we could no longer see the clouds licking the edges of our summer valley, there was hope we'd return to a sunny afternoon on the coast. No such luck. We drove back into the land that summer forgot. Not a drop of sunshine found its way through the suffocating clouds today.
And thus ends a disappointing holiday weekend where I wore down jackets daily and sat under down blankets in the evenings.