Climbing the Santa Ynez

The Santa Ynez Mountains are in Southern California. The mountains begin in the east at the Ventura River canyon and the Santa Ynez River flows just north of the mountains. In the Santa Ynez Valley, sun shines on the vineyards, at this time of year, from cloud-free skies. And that is how I came to find myself alone at the peak of the Santa Ynez Mountains this afternoon, looking out at Santa Barbara and the Pacific Ocean to the south, and the vineyards of Santa Barbara County to the north.

I had spent the morning at Carpinteria, running along the beach, and went for a look round Santa Barbara at midday, and I wanted a more expansive view of the countryside, so I climbed and climbed up and over the warm boulders — as Steinbeck says, almost as one wants to climb into the lap of a beloved mother.

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