Photographs from the Photography on the Run post: Santa Cruz Island with the Trail Runners Club
Recently I had the pleasure of joining the Trail Runner's Club (TRC) as a guest on their annual Santa Cruz Island trail run. Santa Cruz Island is about 21 statute miles from Ventura Harbor.
The Trail Runner's Club trail run was on the eastern part of Santa Cruz Island, managed by the NPS. The western three-quarters of the island is a closed preserve owned by the Nature Conservancy.
The TRC Santa Cruz Island adventure started at the Island Packers dock at Ventura Harbor.
A little after 8:00 am we were outbound from the mainland, with about an hour's boat ride ahead of us. The Island Packers skipper did a great job of reading the 4'-6' swells and not just blasting through the bigger waves.
The unmistakable profile of Anacapa Island. On this particular trip the conditions were not the best for whale watching. I did get to see one whale spout and missed another that was spotted on the other side of the boat.
Nearing Scorpion Anchorage on Santa Cruz Island.
Rocks near Scorpion Anchorage.
Unloading from the bow at Scorpion Anchorage.
Passengers unloading from the boat at Scorpion Anchorage.
A short climb up a ladder leads from the boat to the landing.
An orientation is provided by the NPS after landing, briefly discussing the island's unique features and creatures.
Santa Cruz Island morning glory and giant Coreopsis in Scorpion Valley. The plant life on the island is an interesting mix of endemic, native and invasive species.
Climbing out of the cove at Scorpion Anchorage on the North Bluff Trail. The trail leads to Cavern Point and then to an overlook of Potato Harbor.
Bert on the trail to Cavern Point. Scorpion Canyon is below and Montanon Ridge is in the distance at the head of the valley.
Art, Ann, Bert, Phil, Ernie and Bud climbing up toward Cavern Point. Anacapa Island can be seen in the distance.
Cavern Point from the west.
Bert descending the trail from Cavern Point.
Phil and Bud descending from Cavern Point.
Bluffs between Cavern Point and Potato Harbor.
Continuing on the mustard-lined trail toward the Potato Harbor overlook. Montañon Ridge is in the background.
Ann and Bert on a nice section of trail with the Santa Barbara Channel and mainland in the background. Winds were "brisk."
Bert's shirt is by INKnBURN.
Overlook of Potato Harbor.
Oak on Montañon Ridge - probably a Santa Cruz Island oak (Quercus parvula var. parvula).
Santa Cruz Island oaks in a chaparral like habitat on Montañon Ridge.
Art, Ann and Ernie discuss route options on Montañon Ridge.
Ann and Ernie on the Montañon Ridge Trail.
Anacapa Island from Montañon Ridge.
Ann and Art at a fork in the trail on Montañon Ridge. The right fork leads down to the Navy Road and eventually to Prisoner's Harbor. The left fork leads to "El Montañon" the high point of East Santa Cruz Island.
View of western Santa Cruz Island from Montañon Ridge. The rock in the foreground is volcanic. It was formed during a geologically complex period when the Pacific-North America plate boundary was transitioning from a subduction zone to the two plates sliding laterally past each other.
Where's Art? At the Prisoner's junction he took the trail down from Montañon Ridge and went to China Pines.
If you look closely and squint, Art's on the trail in the center of the photo.
It was a bit windy on the top of El Montañon. The lee side of the comms building was full when Ann and I reached the summit.
Hikers descending from El Montañon. The ridge continues down and to the left in the photo.
Smuggler's Cove, Anacapa Island and in the distance, Boney Mountain. That's a grove of olive trees at Smuggler's Cove.
And here is what Anacapa Island and Santa Cruz Island look like from Boney Mountain. The peak with the communications equipment is Laguna Peak. Below it is La Jolla Valley. On the left is Mugu Peak
Ceanothus on the descent from Montañon Ridge. It seemed plants on the island were not as severely affected by the drought as on the mainland.
Returning to Scorpion Canyon and Anchorage on Smuggler's Road. The North Bluff Trail to Cavern Point is across the valley.
I knew Ernie had prepared an amazing lunch, but I had no idea just how fantastic it was going to be!
The best lunch I've ever had on a trail run! Hey, has anyone seen my Gu and jellybeans??
After lunch I went back up on the bluffs to enjoy sights. Thank you Trail Runners Club for a great day!!
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Gary Valle'. All Rights Reserved.