This is very exciting for several reasons: First, it is an area of Santa Barbara County I have never been to. Second, it is far from the coast and at high elevation (above 6000 feet), an environment I have yet to visit during the Green Big Year. I am hoping there will be loads of birds there I have not yet seen this year - and possibly a few I have not yet seen ever. Lastly, this will be by far the most challenging ride I have undertaken this year.
Since it is a huge climb to get to Big Pine Mountain, I am planning a two-stage effort to get there. The first day I will ride from home over San Marcos Pass to Upper Oso Campground near the Santa Ynez River. You may recall I did this back in April - but this time I will be on my mountain bike as the road from Upper Oso to Big Pine Mountain is dirt. After spending the night at Upper Oso I will depart early and ride to Big Pine Mountain where I will meet the rest of the group.
The ride from Upper Oso to Big Pine is only about 25 miles, but it is a climb of over 5,000 feet so I expect it will take awhile to get there! Since this section will be downhill on the way home, I plan on making the entire return trip in one day.
A couple of days ago it was 100 degrees back along the Santa Ynez River, but amazingly it has been raining here most of the day today, with Big Pine Mountain receiving over 1" of rain. This is remarkable for this time of year. Thankfully the forecast looks good for the next few days.
Wish me luck.
Route From Upper Oso To Big Pine Mountain
Elevation Profile From Upper Oso To Big Pine Mountain