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The Gaviota Coast
updated: Jul 05, 2014, 11:00 AM

By David Powdrell

One of the most captivating places in the world, in my opinion, sits right in our back yard. The Gaviota Coast is raw, it's relatively untouched and it's stunningly beautiful. The Gaviota Coast means different things to different people, but I believe and hope that most of us want to protect this magical land so that future generations can see and experience the wild open space.

In the winter, the gentle rolling hills are soft, lush and green. In summer, the hills turn straw-colored, tinder dry and brittle.

The wind can blow brutally strong on the Gaviota Coast and the surf will rage on occasion. Other times the air is still and the silence can be loud.

Gaviota Coast wildlife is spectacular. There are bobcats, wild boar, red-tailed fox, bear, deer, sea lions, dolphins, octopi, sharks, whales, otters and more.

When walking along the Gaviota Coast, it feels as if the clock has been turned back a few centuries. It's easy to imagine the Chumash living off the land, and they did it for over 150 generations.

The geographical boundary of the Gaviota Coast runs from Point Sal down to the Devereux Slough near UCSB. To the east it's framed by the Los Padres National Forest and agricultural property.

I'm lucky. I've kayaked, surfed along, and hiked the 94 miles of the Gaviota Coast with mi compadres for the last 42 years. As a rookie photographer, I've also been fortunate to have taken a few pictures along the way.

I hope you get the chance to take a stroll along a portion of the Gaviota Coast. Just promise me you'll leave it looking better than when you got there.


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