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Every year around this time, wildflowers begin to appear, signifying the end of winter.

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When the Gaviota Coast looks like this, you should know it’s time to let your wetsuit dry out
and head for the hills. Because the green window doesn’t stay open for long…

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It’s always a welcome sight when a rainbow of color erupts from the ground.

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Spring is the time for all things to renew themselves, plants and animals alike.

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This year we were fortunate enough to take several trips through the Santa Ynez Valley
and into the wilds of the San Rafael Wilderness.

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Our first trip was in early February, when browns and greys dominated the palette.

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By mid March, the same trails were Technicolor explosions, inspiring awes from the hikers.

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Fresh water filled the creek beds that sit dry and dusty for most of the year.

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And my hiking partners couldn’t help but frolic in every possible creek crossing.

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A dried up turtle carcass served as a grim reminder of the long dry months ahead.

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There’s something about a wide open green meadow that just makes you want to run through it.

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The Hurricane Deck looks downright friendly when it’s dressed in green.

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Hiking the morning after a rain brings lots of little surprise pools.

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And their inhabitants.

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Spring is when all our little creeks shine, bursting with life and sounds and smells.

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It’s hard not to get involved…

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The dusty dry trails are temporarily carpeted wall to wall in cool green shag.

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And even the walls are decorated with ornate little growth.

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After a long day of hiking, the old campsite is a welcome sight.

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The simple things are never taken for granted camping.
Like the pleasure of playing cards by the fire while dinner cooks.

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Or a jam session under the stars.

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Or a filthy old carpet in the bed of a truck.
Simple things become great again.

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So if you can manage it, jump into the green window, before it turns brown.

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