JANUARY 10, 2012 – Upper Las Virgenes NE (ex Ahmanson Ranch)

I’m trying to maintain the conditioning I gained while massively hiking over the holidays. So I chose a steep uphill trail that I’d avoided for years. From the trailhead at the West end of Vanowen Street, I walked West into El Escorpion Park and passed Castle Peak on my right. It wasn’t my destination.
Further down the trail someone made a 35’ structure that looks like a boma/kraal. There was a fire pit in the middle. Is it just me or is it dangerous to surround a fire with a wall of dead wood? The situation is compounded by overhead branches and leaves.

This is the end of El Escorpion Park and the Ventura County line, 0.75 miles from the Vanowen trailhead. I remember being stopped here by fences and no trespassing signs in the 1990’s. Now it’s wide open.

Just on the other side I looked North to the fabled “Batcave.” There used to be a cache inside but it was archived before I could get there.

Still continuing West I reached my destination uphill. Behind the first hill there were 2 others, each steeper than the one before. I replaced an animal chewed container for my geofriend Don_J at Dazed & Confused (GC2NT2P). To pay “*cache tax,” I carried 6 new containers to hide.

At the top of the third hill there was a surprisingly flat and wide open summit and a cache too, On Top Where the Hawks Soar (GC1FQ4C).

This is the view backward toward where I started hiking.

Here’s the view South. The area was greener than I’ve ever seen it.

There was only 1 more cache to find ahead and I started placing my containers, leaving at least 4 gaps for others to hide new caches. Hint, hint!! I finally reached a familiar East/West main trail and used it to loop back to my car.

The huge number of coyote poops encountered on my 6.8 mile 3 hr 40 min hike indicates that they’re having a record year. They didn’t even bother to hide and didn’t seem to care that I was there. One walked parallel to me for about a minute before turning away. I saw more coyotes on this hike than in my entire 7 year caching career.

Caches I hid:
– Anomalous & Igneous (GC3AJJR)
– The Trail Top “T” (GC3AJKX)
– sissopolisification (GC3AJWN)
– Across from the Oak (GC3AJWY)
– trail guardian – east side (GC3AJXA)
– Rock Wall View (GC3AJXG)
*Cache Tax = the implied obligation to the caching community to hide new caches in return for finding many of their caches

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