MAY 25, 2009 – Chumash Trail (Simi Hills)

May 25, 2009

An especially busy month at work (tired eyes) and a desktop failure at home kept me away from Dweeb’s Diatribe for awhile. Now I’m back using a small, ancient laptop.

My “any hikes this weekend?” post to a local caching group got a response from LAEd who suggested a car shuttle to the Simi hills. We left his car at the Rocky Peak trailhead (118 offramp) and drove in mine to the Chumash Trail N 34° 17.606 W 118° 40.272. From here we hiked a 5-1/2 mile inverted “U” back to Ed’s car.
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The trail started gradually upward right away which meant great views from the beginning. This is a view SW into Simi Valley. We found an impressively constructed and fun cache nearby, Long Live Rock (GC1R92A). I was even more impressed with Ed’s on the fly improvement to the camo. There’s absolutely no doubt that the cache owner would approve!!
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This is N into the Santa Susana Mountains only about 10 minutes into the hike.
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We found 3 more big caches that were all very different and well placed containers. Then we saw Mr. & Mrs. retrofit and their geodog approaching. We met at Rock & Roll Stew (GC1RCRJ). The retrofits had already found this one so I made the grab and signed for Ed & me.
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As soon as I re-hid the container, geodog C.Spot Run (2nd appearance on my blog) scrambled up and sat next to it.
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Maybe he can be trained to make the initial find. After parting company with the retrofits we found more caches including A Bug’s Life (GCJFT0). This one was heavily damaged by fire. It’s deformed, hard to open / close and the inside is a mass of melted swag. Through it all the log is still signable. We continued walking and eventually reached ground zero for Resistance is Futile (GC1PWCA). This one is a rare puzzle cache that I could solve. I knew that my solution was correct when Ed & me stopped scrambling at the same spot. Retrieving this cache was the highlight of the day. Saying anything more would give away too much.
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Later we did another short scramble to reach a subscriber-only cache, my 6,000th find. That’s me signing the log. It took 4 ½ years to reach this milestone number. I can relax now and slow down. (hahaha)
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Here’s Ed coming back from signing the log.
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At this point we transitioned from the Chumash Trail to the Rocky Peak Fire Road and headed South toward Ed’s car. We passed this area of uplift. I’m surprised that no Earthcache is there.
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A view of the 118 Fwy gave us bursts of energy.
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With a mile to go, I took a short side hike to search for a missing cache and a “Wiccan site” mentioned by a previous searcher.052309_wiccan
I didn’t find the cache but I saw 3 concentric stone rings surrounding a long narrow upright pillar. Whatever it’s for, there were no signs of recent activity.

No hike to the area is complete without looking at the tracks worn into the ground. Locals have sworn to me that they’re wheel ruts from 19th century stagecoaches. Others say that they’re tooth marks from blades of 20th century trail grading equipment.
052309_rutsGo take a look for yourself.