MLK Day and the following weekend were spent completing the Backbone Trail Challenge, Spinal Tap (GC1C4Y4).
First it was back to Point Mugu State Park. This time it was a steep hike near the mouth of Sycamore Canyon to pick off 3 BBT caches. The weather was cool and clear.
From the hill above PCH, looking West toward Mugu Rock:
I’m always amused to see people on TV or in movies driving toward the rock, supposedly going to Los Angeles.
I saw a very strange phenomenon on the water that I’m going to call, BLINKIES. They were much more impressive than the video can show.
Out to sea, was the clearest view of Anacapa & Santa Cruz Islands that I’ve seen in years.
I emerged at the Ray Miller Trailhead at La Jolla Canyon and then walked 1-1/2 miles on PCH past The Great Sand Dune back to my car. After a 10 minute rest I started up Sycamore Canyon to find the last BBT cache I needed in the park Between Main Trails (GC1JGNP). It’s a very isolated cache on a long meandering single track up the west side of the canyon. It was already getting dark and I was surprised to cross paths with a mountain biker who was going downhill. We exchanged hellos, and “have a good ride / hike,” but didn’t stop. A few minutes later, from the top of the hill, I saw the cyclist far below lurking in the bushes. Later I learned that he was VCTrails who’d just found Between Main Trails and was placing a new cache below. I was wearing my geocaching.com t-shirt and had a GPSr in-hand and he said nothing!!
I ended my 9 hour, 14.5 mile hike walking the last 2.5 miles by starlight. There was a lot of movement in the bushes on either side of the trail, bats landing in front of me to eat bugs, and unexpected random hot and cold spots in the night air. I was relieved to finally reach my car.
On Saturday I hiked 11 miles on the BBT from Trippet Ranch in Topanga State Park to Will Rogers State Historic Park. I started alone in the muddy rain but soon saw these guys:
albackore, Don_J, BWidget & robb_dog
We continued together, each finding the caches he needed for the BBT Challenge and hiding a few new ones.
The rain stopped after the first mile but it stayed cold and cloudy until near the end of the hike.
robb_dogg & BWidget at TSP: Resting Rock (GC1CE9P).
These things were all over. I thought we’d hit the UNI jackpot.
Then I remembered where we were – several miles inland. dOH!!
The relaxing and familiar sights of the local mountains gave way to a cityscape on the last leg of our hike.
That’s Century City in front with Downtown Los Angeles in the distance.
Don_J, me and robb_dogg at the last BBT cache for all 3 of us.
On the short walk from here to the car we were almost run down by teenage mountain bikers who yelled “make way!” as they sped through us.
We caught up to the cyclists at the polo ground parking lot and one of us (not me) talked to the parents.
On Sunday morning, Don, Robb & I found Spinal Tap together to complete the BBT Challenge.
For Robb and Don, it’s onward to ever greater challenges. For me, it’s back to lazy, slow speed caching.