Saturday, June 23 , 2018, 4:04 am | Fog/Mist 60º


Captain’s Log: Weekend Escape to Cleaner Air

Take a respite from the Jesusita Fire with a drive out of town

Get the heck out of Dodge. Being outdoors anywhere in the vicinity of Santa Barbara isn’t a healthy proposition with all of the smoke and ash in the air. So, unless you’re hoping to get back into your evacuated neighborhood right away, consider a drive out of town and into some cleaner air.

Capt. David Bacon
Capt. David Bacon (Ramona Lisa McFadyen photo)

No need to go far. After all, you may want to get back into town fairly quickly when the heroic firefighters beat the fiery beast. One suggestion is the Santa Ynez Valley via Highway 101 north to Buellton and east into the valley. Or head west from Buellton to the Lompoc area, where there are plenty of flowery fields to enjoy.

Need to head out of town the other direction? Try Highway 150 to beautiful Ojai, then down California 33 to Ventura and back up Highway 101. The loop promises a nice variety of natural habitats.

If you’re up for a longer drive, I recommend California 33 to State Route 166 in Cuyama Valley, and back out to Highway 101 above Santa Maria. When I make this run, I always stop at the Buckhorn, in New Cuyama, for good eats and local news.

Even a short trip up the coast to spots where you can stop and look out to sea will provide an emotional escape and healthy air.

Those who own a boat or have a friend with a boat are in luck. A run out to sea, away from the smoke may just be the cure for your ill. We’ve had some strong winds and tall seas, so check the marine forecasts before casting off.

Getting out of Dodge for part of a day will help keep things in perspective, and remember that who you are inside is your most important belonging — and you don’t even have to pack it to evacuate.

— Capt. David Bacon operates WaveWalker Charters and is president of SOFTIN Inc., a new nonprofit organization providing seafaring opportunities for those in need.

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