|The Striated Bluffs of Whiteacre Peak|
Last weekend I decided to return to the scene of the original crime. Half of the adventure in going to Dough Flat is getting there. Squaw Flat Road, which begins in Fillmore as Goodenough Road, is initially paved. As the road wends its way north and gains elevation, that pavement deteriorates eventually turning into gravel. The lower section of the road, which is routinely used to access the numerous oil leases that dot the area, is fairly well maintained. Past the last oil lease about 1/2 mile before roads end however, the track steepens a bit and becomes considerably more rocky. It's all negotiable without 4-wheel drive, but the going is slow.
|View Across the Sespe Creek Drainage and Into the Condor Sanctuary|
|Bluffs Along the Whiteacre Ridgeline|
I didn't really have an agenda for the day other doing a bit of exploring. I first wandered up to Squaw Flat and kicked around at a guerrilla camp I found there located in a clump of trees. After that, I continued up the gently rising path to the split with the trail out to Ant Camp and scouted routes up Pts. 4082 and 4706. The left fork of the trail took me out to Cow Spring Camp where I lunched at the fairly unattractive trail camp and searched without success for the spring after which the place is named. Water is so yesterday in this parched landscaped of the new millennium. I did, however, locate a Forest Service benchmark (EM 22) trailside around Stone Corral next to a rock formation I dubbed the Backcountry Throne.
|Trailhead Signage en Espanol. The English language version is vandalized.|
|Entering the Sespe Wilderness|
|Whiteacre Peak from the Alder Creek Trail|
|Squaw Creek Drainage|
|Point 4082 from Squaw Flat|
|View South toward Dough Flat|
|Point 4082 (left) and 4706 (right)|
Over a small rise and up a drainage, I spied a knot of green that looked out of place in the sea of brown. This was clearly Bucksnort Spring. I followed an obvious use trail up to where the spring is supposed to be where I found another guerrilla campsite, but no surface water. The greenery was no mere happenstance, however. There is water here, but it must all be subterranean at this stage.
On the way back to the parking area I scouted Sulphur and Whiteacre Peaks. Both are in the Condor Sanctuary and technically off limits, but I know they have both been scaled by intrepid adventurers who shall remain nameless. Suffice it to say that of the two, Whiteacre is the easier to access. Anecdotally, Sulphur, which is further away, has to be attacked from the Tar Creek side since any approach from the Pigeon Flat area is reputed to be chocked with brush. But the forest service has been forced to close Tar Creek because people don't know how to behave in the backcountry. So until that changes, Sulphur Peak seems to me a very difficult proposition.
|View North to the Sespe Backcountry|
|Cow Spring Trail Camp|
|Forest Service Benchmark EM 22|
|The Backcountry Throne|
|Cow Spring Area from Stone Corral|