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Colson Canyon

Roads and trails near Santa Maria and the San Rafael Wilderness. These are photos from three different rides: 2008:11:16, 2008:11:24, and 2009:08:01 (third time with Kyle along). This is one of my absolute favorite roads, perhaps my very favorite, but unfortunately it has more recently been closed for several years (and for no good reason that I can discern).

august 10, 2009 fire boundary

A gladsome sight. This is what you see as you come over the edge and are about to descend into the canyon. An amazing road, carved into the side of the cliff.

Nov 16 2008, 15:14:52

Nov 16 2008, 15:15:10

At the bottom of the canyon there’s a long level road with many river crossings. After about a dozen of these crossings you come to this wonderful live-oak glade where there’s a primitive campground.

Nov 16 2008, 15:51:29

Nov 16 2008, 15:51:41

Nov 16 2008, 15:52:11

Nov 16 2008, 15:52:48

Different day, different spot. You go past the campground and there’s a road that goes slowly and easily up the hill until you come out in a place where you can get to this view. You’re just surrounded by wild country.

Nov 24 2008, 15:11:45

This is the nature of the little side road we took to get to this spot. It’s a road (wide enough for a car), but it follows the ridge, going up and down over every rise and fall. This little stretch looked really steep! But in fact it was all in our minds…

Nov 24 2008, 15:11:51

Nov 24 2008, 15:12:03

Nov 24 2008, 15:12:38

Nov 24 2008, 15:13:08

Nov 24 2008, 15:13:27

Nov 24 2008, 15:13:32

Nov 24 2008, 15:13:43

Nov 24 2008, 15:14:01

Nov 24 2008, 15:14:24

Nov 24 2008, 15:15:19

Another day, this time with Kyle along. The bikes (and we) are resting in the Wagon Flat campground, after riding down into bottom and along the river (and after crossing the river, currently mostly dry, about 15 times).

Aug 1 2009, 14:00:48

Aug 1 2009, 14:01:46

Aug 1 2009, 14:01:55

Once again we took the road up towards Miranda Pine road, going further than before, turning left on it, and pausing at a place remarkable for its sudden spray of greenery. This greenery, it turned out, was the aftermath of a fire, the new growth coming in after the burn. This fire was probably one of the fires caused by lightning in August 2007, around the same time as, but not related to, the Zaca fire.

Aug 1 2009, 14:36:14

Aug 1 2009, 14:37:19

Aug 1 2009, 14:37:39

Aug 1 2009, 14:38:37

Aug 1 2009, 14:40:35

Aug 1 2009, 14:41:12

Aug 1 2009, 14:42:08

Aug 1 2009, 14:42:30

Aug 1 2009, 14:43:40

Back down at the bottom, at the river, just before the final climb out.

Aug 1 2009, 15:26:21

Aug 1 2009, 15:27:31

Aug 1 2009, 15:27:49

One of my favorite sights in all the world, Colson Canyon, looking down the canyon into the bottom.

Aug 1 2009, 15:43:51

And another great sight, the wonderful road out of the canyon.

Aug 1 2009, 15:44:14

This shows our route on the little jaunt described in the previous images.

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Next: Old Sierra Madre Road (Miranda Pine)

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