Monday, February 11, 2013

Nojoqui Falls

It's been a bit foggy and chilly lately, so when the sun finally broke through the clouds one morning last week, Mimi and I jumped into the van and headed north.   This beautiful waterfalls is located about five miles south of Buellton, California, on the 101.  While I had a cup of coffee to warm up, Mimi soaked up the early morning sunshine.  I love the way her orange sweater glows!
I put my thermos away and set out on the trail.  Mimi opted to stay behind .  She told me she didn't want to leave the ancient oaks dripping with Spanish moss, but I knew better.  She likes being the center of attention.  When another hiker commented, "Nice outfit," as she walked by, Mimi glowed even more!

It's an easy walk on a well-maintained trail.  Even though it was only nine a.m., a few other hikers joined me. No one was very talkative, but we all oohed and aahed as we reached our destination.  What is it about a waterfall?  It doesn't matter how big it is, it never fails to impress.  A trail to a waterfall leads you back into time--way back.  Perhaps it is the large ferns or the carpet of moss that line the rocky creeks, but the surrounding environment always feels so prehistoric.  And, in a way, it is.

 The origin of Nojoqui Falls can be traced back to the Cretaceous period when all of Santa Barbara County was submerged under water.  Over the eons, the flow of water created  layers of sediment in the form of a  long wavy fan.  As the seas subsided,  this formation became the Santa Ynez Mountains.  A creek continued to carve a gorge through the mountains, carrying with it the sandstone and shale sediment that form the vertical 100 foot drop behind Nojogui Falls.  Because this sandstone is resistant to erosion, the wall of rock continues to be thrust outward.  We are witnessing the creation of a giant stalactite-like structure.

I'm sorry Mimi missed it.

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