Summer in the Back Country

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By Tom Modugno

Left the fog behind and went up to Red Rock a few weeks ago. We knew it would be warm, but we weren't ready for 100 degrees! While the creek is drying up, there were still a few holes with decent water in them. The one we went to required some hiking, which wasn't easy in the heat, but we survived and enjoyed it thoroughly! Pray for another wet winter.

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Roger Aug 27, 2019 05:39 AM
Summer in the Back Country

I believe the shooting incident was around 1982 it was Frank Hand Jr. I believe he worked for Case Security I knew his Father.

LCP112233 Aug 27, 2019 10:50 AM
Summer in the Back Country

I went to school with his sister. He was on acid or something.

JoeSixPack Aug 26, 2019 10:06 PM
Summer in the Back Country

79304 & TAGDES It was in the early 80’s and the guys’ name was Frank Hand. He had breakfast at Bent the Butchers modest little restaurant in Los Olivos that Saturday morning (now Los Olivos Wine Merchant Cafe). A patron mentioned that he was wearing camouflage clothing and noticed he had a wild look in his eyes. When asked by a local what he was up to that day, he responded that he has going “hunting”. At the Red Rock area he started following a couple down a trail. They became alarmed and quickened their pace, and then jumped in the river to try swim across to get away. I recall the story that she got hit and died. The guy got away and was able to notify authorities. The shooter drove to NIRA crossing, parked his car and was making his way down river to acquaintances (from high school) that he knew lived 7 miles downriver. Sheriffs interviews correctly suspected he would be in the area and a helicopter located and arrested him hiking down river.

JoeSixPack Aug 27, 2019 09:29 AM
Summer in the Back Country

NIRA is a campground (and parking lot) in the Los Padres Forest on the Manzana River. NIRA is an acronym for National Industrial Recovery Act. It was a work program during the depression that put people to work building public projects. They built the roads and campgrounds in the back forest.

Sprigofsage Aug 27, 2019 06:54 AM
Summer in the Back Country

What a story Joesixpack! I've always been nervous about enjoying nature by myself because I dream up creepy stuff like this!!

Frederick Aug 26, 2019 11:00 AM
Summer in the Back Country

You get a big Santa Maria crowd there which makes it a not so enjoyable experience.

a-1568528257 Aug 27, 2019 10:58 AM
Summer in the Back Country

What is the "Santa Maria crowd?" How do you know where people are from without asking? Just curious, really.

a-1568528257 Aug 26, 2019 09:02 AM
Summer in the Back Country

Maybe I'm losing my mind, but I seem to remember that there was a multiple shooting "rampage" back in the late 70s. I tried to search online for any information about the incident, so I'm starting to think it either simply did not occur, or it happened somewhere else. Anyone recall such an incident?

tagdes Aug 26, 2019 12:20 PM
Summer in the Back Country

Oh, it did occur...never forget because the murderer was the security guard at my wife's work. We both knew him. Can't remember all the details, but he confronted a couple at Red Rock and started shooting. They ran into the water to escape and I think the guy swam behind her to protect her and ended up the victim.

a-1568528257 Aug 26, 2019 10:28 AM
Summer in the Back Country

....forgot to mention, the incident, I believe, was in the Red Rock area.

EastBeach Aug 25, 2019 11:33 AM
Summer in the Back Country

Yeeha! We used to ride our bikes to the dam or the quicksilver mine, then back to cool off in the pools. Love that photo with your German Shepard looking at the camera.

Flicka Aug 25, 2019 11:06 AM
Summer in the Back Country

Thanks, Tom, for these colorful pictures. Makes your expedition look inviting. Cliff diving at Red Rock can be fun and also dangerous. Seems that over the years broken necks have put divers into wheelchairs.

LCP112233 Aug 27, 2019 10:54 AM
Summer in the Back Country

Someone had to be rescued just last week. Crazy high dive. That's suicidal.

a-1568528257 Aug 24, 2019 03:21 PM
Summer in the Back Country

Went a couple of days ago. I thought the water lever would be higher after all the rain we had last year. Only place we could find with enough water to swim was at the rock. It was refreshing and not too crowded. Didn't see any diapers or trash

a-1568528257 Aug 24, 2019 03:13 PM
Summer in the Back Country

Only it's a far cry from what it used to be. Nostalgia waxes strong with me, too. However, after seeing tossed baby diapers, litter everywhere including old tires and abandoned beach chairs coupled with icky pervy beer-drinking men hanging out, I gave up going to Red Rock. Sad. Oh for the days when skinnydipping at Red Rock was cool and not many people around.

mm1970 Aug 26, 2019 09:49 AM
Summer in the Back Country

We were up there a few weeks ago with our kids. No trash, no pervs, but for sure there were a lot of people!

a-1568528257 Aug 24, 2019 03:05 PM
Summer in the Back Country

Omg! Wish I was there right now. I miss my high school days hanging up at Red Rock every chance we got. Cliff diving is the best!

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