We’re having a heat wave, but so far have eluded local wildfires though there’s smoke both East and West of us. Today we again took off headed for a beach day at Oceano, and Campus Point was crowded with people chillin’ and surfing.
High over Solvang we could see that people were beating the triple-digit heat in the valley by taking advantage of cool water released from Cachuma Lake.
By then we could see that the western smoke plume from the fire near Monterey had shifted on shore at Oceano so we decided to follow the Santa Ynez River toward Lompoc. Along the way we saw a few more people enjoying the river.
This release helps preserve the water table downstream, where many people depend on well water. It also provides a cooling alternative to facing traffic to and from a beach. Before long, among the famous vineyards of Santa Rita Valley we came to the point where the last ponds disappear down into the parched sand.
Turning back toward home we reached the cooler air over Gaviota State Beach where many people from North and East converged to splash and relax.
Water activities were also popular at Refugio State Beach, where few visible traces of the recent pipeline oil spill remain.
Even El Capitan, mostly closed still due to water system damage by the Sherpa Fire, had crowds of day use beach goers.
Approaching downtown Santa Barbara we saw small kids wearing themselves out with delight under the watchful eye of parents and lifeguards at the Oak Park wading pool. Beneath the grand trees nearby, colorful parties and picnics huddled in the shade.
The popular playground was deserted, but when the pool closes and afternoon cooling begins some of the small fry will relocate and burn more calories chasing memories.