Just a heads up, if you are hyper sensitive to PO you might also be in the smaller group who are allergic to the California Bluebell, Phacelia Calendularis. It took me two serious episodes before I figured that one out.
Anyway it is only an issue when it is flowering (as far as I can tell) in the spring. It's all over Josh at intermediate elevations like Split Rocks area and uphill from Indian Cove. It also grows all over the San Gabriels behind my house. Looks like this:
Yup- altitude or desert. Dry mountain-sides away from river beds in Santa Barbara are usually pretty PO free. Simplest solution is to just keep your dog leashed/tied up/at home at all times and you can camp anywhere you like. Personally I wouldn't let my dog's wish for freedom to roam dictate my climbing life.
Side note: There IS PO in Yosemite. I've gotten into it during Facelift. It's low to the ground and there's very little of it but it does exist. I suspect the park service does a lot of guerilla erradication that doesn't get talked about.
Horseflats has some good hiking and nice scenery for the non- climbers.
@Kris: You've got my radar up for that little bush. I'm allergic to pretty much everything, so I'd rather not find out how I react to that little blue monster.
so I'd rather not find out how I react to that little blue monster
Yeah for me it was a trip to the ER and two weeks on Prednizone...
Got into it first time up by Librarian Lust (look up on MP) in Josh, did not figure out what it was though. Then I got into it at Future Games in the spring. I was literally crawling around in it photographing a pair of Chuckwallas. Got it really bad. Good pics though...
Chuckwallas near Future Games Rock, Joshua Tree, CA. 4-18-10
Them fishies look tempting. Never been. Looking forward to checking em' out...Also, a little background for the uninitiated. Poison Oak gives the gift from the lovely oil, Urushiol. It has a tendency to get in those awesome pores of ours and wreak havock. Ways that I deal with it when I'm with my sh!tbird hound dog is to give her a bath when I get home with liquid dishwashing soap. Dishwashing soap removes grease and oils, is cheap, and is generally animal friendly. Make sure its cold/cool water. Then I do the same, taking a cold shower (so the pores don't open up), washing with dishwashing soap. Its cheaper than Technu, and works, post-exposure, just as well as Technu. Also, I don't venture too far away from creeks. The hound always gets a good dipping before we get in the truck. Super stoked to check out some of these other areas I haven't explored yet.
Good call on avoiding California bluebell. I was planning a trip to Josh for this upcoming month so that's really good information to have. It seems like there's near unanimous approval of Nacimiento Ferguson Road. I think we're going to start there and then start heading to horse flats and pine mountain once the road is open.
Thanks again. Say hello If you see an Asisn guy driving a dark blue aerostar with an organic bouldering sticker and morro bay plates. We can share a beer and any lettuce I may have.
If you are in Moro Bay you should check out the dog park at Chorro regional park, about half way between MB and SLO. Big, fenced, and totally PO free. No bouldering aside from the fake kid's boulders in the playground.
Thanks for the advice. It seems like there are many more climbers on the central coast than the population of slo-op kids and traddies at bishop peak led me to believe. Where do central coasters escape to for climbing? Bishop peak it's pretty lame. Whenever I talk to someone getting outside they are driving 5 hours away, but I guess that's what's available out here. Still happy with the region overall though.