The Doctor will See You Now

Prescription for Bliss:

1.  Read mantra on upper right corner of the blog home page

2.  Drive up 33 to the Cozy Dell Trail

3.  Imbibe the sensory cacophony that assaults you around every corner and up every hillside

4.  Intone mantra

5.  Repeat rules 3 & 4 until dizzy

I did not bring my camera as it was seed collecting day and I couldn’t handle multitasking, grass seeds require a lot of looking down.  The late rains have given us this incredible window where blooms that should be peaking in February (Ceanothus, nightshade, wood mint), and April (encelia, black sage, Mariposa lilies, Chinese houses) are currently in all their glory along with the normal May stuff (purple sage, golden stars, yucca, penstemons).  Don’t miss the bliss.

Doctor Lanny Herbwalk has the prescription for your weekend malaise… Keeping our weekends teeming with events for outdoor enthusiasts of all ilks, leanings and inclinations.  On Saturday he will be leading a ‘Walk and Roll’ up at Wheeler Gorge.  Why does it seem that every time I drive through those tunnels I’ve got a line of bicycles on my right and a super monster mack truck barreling down the hill just as we enter the tunnel?  Note to bicyclists… you’re all nucking futs.

Some mildly fun facts about the area, courtesy of my handy “Guide to Scenic Route 33”.  The “hot springs” are really just a warm spring with a boiler to nudge up the temperature, no one would visit “tepid springs”.  The site was discovered by Wheeler Blumberg in 1888 while hunting, he purchased the land and built a hotel in 1894.  In 1913 daughter Etta and her husband built “Wilcox’s Cottages” and the famous “Ripley’s Smallest Post Office in the US” which operated until 1962.    Believe it or not you are driving right along the Santa Ynez fault.  This tunnel and it’s twin counterparts a little further up were constructed in 1931 and completed in 1932.  Wheeler Gorge campground was originally a Boy Scout camping area which was moved one Route 33 opened.

In case that wasn’t enough to send you hurtling up the highway first thing Saturday morning, Lanny provided these teasers:

Saturday: Herb Walk ‘n’ Roll at Wheeler Gorge Campground.
        Now that I have a Special Use Permit from the U. S. Forest Service I am trying to make the most of it by something special. This will be the 3rd outing in the Los Padres National Forest this year. As the name implies, this one is special because is it is wheelchair-accessible. The wheelchair community is a new audience for me, one that is greatly underserved when it comes to outdoor recreation. That is why my friend Joseph DeVere of the Threus Foundation (www.threus.org) is offering scholarships to those in wheelchairs so that lack of funds will not prevent them from enjoying a nature walk. Please spread the word to anyone whose physical abilities might prevent them from going on my other walks and hikes.

Sunday:  Urban Herb Walk and Workshop with Amanda McQuade Crawford
       This is a very special opportunity to spend time with a world-renowned herbalist and author. First we’ll walk to some great native plant gardens right in downtown Ojai. Then to Rainbow Bridge for a visit to their Herb Room and lunch. The RB Deli has graciously offered us a 10% discount on lunch. From there we’ll walk to a community kitchen where Amanda will prepare some delicious foods that are designed to make healthful herbs a delicious part of your family’s menus.

Finally, bashful but extremely talented Lauren let me browse her Picasa account, so many great pictures I only chose a few, might have to pilfer from her regularly.  After all the amazing photos I snuck in a mystery pic.  You people are getting way too good so I made this one extra crappy, courtesy of my 32 dollar cellphone. Lets see if any of you can see through the pixels.

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