The Santa Ynez River has a visible supply of water flowing for the first time in months. It is part of a scheduled release from Cachuma Lake, which is at 12 percent of its overall capacity.
The water is flowing through Santa Ynez and Solvang.
Some residents baking in temperatures around 100 degrees, found their secret spots along the banks and cooled off in the refreshing water. A month ago the river was dry.
Sam Masson waded into the water with his wife Melinda. “We were trying to keep it a secret but there’s a couple of more people every time,” he said. They know of an area with less rocks and “you can sit on and lay out your towels.”
Some people come with inflatables. “We’ve seen floaty things. Somebody got in up at Armour Ranch and floated all the way to Solvang,” said Melinda Masson.
The water release is expected to help downstream farmers who need it to replenish their wells and supply their crops including the lucrative vegetable, wine grape crops throughout the region.
In Solvang, the Trolley Company says it has switched from a horse drawn carriage to a motorized vehicle, when the temperatures exceed 90. It was beyond the limit today, and the horses were back in the barn.
At Ingeborg’s, the ice cream parlour was both air conditioned and had steady scoops of ice cream coming over the counter all day. The owner said it’s been a stop for many visitors as they go from shop to shop as a way to escape the heat. Solvang has several ice cream and gelato counters.
Today’s was the hottest day of the week, with a cool down expected by Monday.