We had a small group for our latest Flores Peak Sierra Club hike, but everyone was in a good mood and we took it at a leisurely pace. Plenty of stops to enjoy the views and a nice long snack break at the top. We finished at the usual time because we skipped climbing Gibraltar Rock afterwards.
Here are all my photos and quite an interesting video!
We started near Gibraltar Rock along Gibraltar Road. You can see someone standing on Gibraltar Rock here:
That first section is quite steep through the manzanita. Here Dee leads the way through that first section:
The view out to the Channel Islands was exceptionally clear. Here you can see the chain of islands that makes up Anacapa Island:
Not a lot of flowers in this season, but I think this is buckwheat:
Here three of us posed at the summit. The final section is as steep as the first section, but it is also quite slippery.
But the most notable part of the hike this time: The largest number of paragliders and hang gliders that I have ever seen in the air at once! At times there were as many as twenty or so at once!
The air was perfectly still. Even so, there clearly were some powerful thermals (updrafts) that took this one from below us to above us quite rapidly. One after another the others repeated this feat.
But the most spectacular scene for us was to watch these two hang gliders circle each other over and over right in front of us.
On our way down we encountered a Geocache along a lower ridge. I have been up there quite a few times in recent years, but I had never ventured to that particular spot before.
Inside was a log book placed in January 2006, almost 14 years ago. Some of the original goodies in the inventory were still in there, including this amusing character on a tricycle.
During our final descent we saw a couple of dozen people streaming toward a couple of vans parked on Gibraltar Road. Probably out for a UCSB geology field trip