July 28, 2012
BWidget, Albackore and I wanted to find caches on the E end of the BBT that were hidden after our last hike there in 2009. EcuaDeb needed ALL of the caches for the (GC1C4Y4) Spinal Tap challenge and Foocachers wanted to hike anywhere, caches or not. Of course we ended up going on the rare day where it DIDN’T GET COOLER hiking toward the ocean.
EcuaDeb drove us, minus the Foos, to a little known, hard to find trailhead at Free Parking (GCTYK8). We learned by phone that the Foos had themselves dropped off at the wrong trailhead 1.7 miles away. So we started up the Cheney Trail intending to meet them later. Here Deb unloads her gear.
At the intersection of the Cheney Trail and the fire road, Deb hid a cache. We waited there for 1.75 hours until the Foos finally arrived!! Passing hikers and mountain bikers looked at us strangely for standing around aimlessly, squandering prime hiking time. Someone even asked us if we needed help.
I was so zoned out that I don’t remember how the Foos made their appearance; only that Foo Sr tried to explain that the 1.7 extra miles were really 3.4 by winding trail. Giving the Foos no chance to rest, we all hiked to The Hub. Note the new outhouse under construction. It’s dead center in the picture.
After a few minutes the steady stream of chastisement directed at Foo Sr died down. Here, he and Deb log an old cache.
Wildlife is rarely seen during our (noisey) group hikes. But this guy was in no condition to hide from us.
We passed a temporary camp for state park workers. Their equipment was seen along the trail for the next ½ mile. Thanks for all the trail maintenance!
We preemptively hid new caches wherever we noticed a 0.2 mile gap between caches. Even then we missed 2 gaps and someone else put caches in them a few days later. So those of us ranked in the BBT cache finders list on the Spinal Tap page will have to go back to find them. Anyway, a 6’ high cactus was very conspicuous. Thankfully, no cache is hidden there.
By the time we approached the bridge (mile 8), I’d fallen behind as usual with my bad knee. Stepping on a wobbly rock made things worse. I caught up to the group as they enjoyed a few seconds of rare breeze from the middle.
We exited the official eastern end of the Backbone Trail.
It was another ½ mile to the parking lot where Foo’s dad (Cameron Sr) collected us, gave us drinks and drove us back to Deb’s SUV. Thanks!! I achieved my goal of “catching up to the Conejos,” by breaking into the top 10 on the Spinal Tap page.
July 3, 2012
As the weather heats up our hiking options decrease to those close to the ocean. This time we chose the La Jolla Canyon loop in Point Mugu State Park. From the paved parking lot at the Ray Miller trailhead, 7 of us started up the wide trail into La Jolla Canyon. Here’s Kenyon, the elder Foocachers, at the gate.
We hiked a counter clockwise loop with a short side trip. After 7 hours our GPSrs averaged just over 10 miles at the end.
“It’s mostly flat,” going N toward the waterfall.
At the waterfall, the trail shrinks to a narrow, steep single track. The picture is the top of where the falls would be if it wasn’t completely dry. Also we didn’t see the big scallop fossils that some of us remembered from past hikes. I hope that we just missed them and they weren’t broken off and stolen by fossil hunters.
The single track soon turned back into a flat trail along the E end of the valley. Does a bear **** in the woods? Apparently so.
Finding caches on the way, we turned E and literally ‘walked the extra mile’ to the Guadalasca/Overlook/Backbone Trail to find some newer caches, including an FTF and 2 new BBT caches. Here’s Tri-Peaks, Boney Mountain to the E.
Kenyon & Bill signed FTF for our group: Bee Leed Bleula On the Guadalasca (GC3PCXN). Along the S part of this side trip we were almost run down by a crazed mountain biker going downhill at super speed. We also saw and heard a hiker down far below shouting in an unknown language and blowing a whistle. He didn’t respond to our shouts back and he was still walking so we decided not to call 911.
Back in the valley, we crossed paths with the shouting/whistling hiker. He was with a big group. They didn’t really speak English but they weren’t in distress. So we continued, walked through a nice empty campground and found more caches. One was at a major intersection of trails. No one objected when it was suggested that we turn S here to cut through the middle of the loop. There were fewer caches along this route but it was a shorter distance back to the parking lot.
The way back… We confirmed a missing cache for its owner who then archived it that night.
The Laguna Peak Tracking Station stood out to the W.
We reached the beach overlook. EcuaDude took my picture. See! I was really there.
The ocean breeze was especially cool and appreciated at the Southern end of the loop. Here’s EcuaDeb, BWidget, sissopolis and (the elder) Foocachers. Foo (the younger) had walked far ahead and EcuaDude was off to the side admiring the view. Out to sea it was juuust foggy enough to hide Catalina Island.
Even though we were very close to the top of the waterfall again, the trail led back inland 0.3 miles before it crossed La Jolla Canyon back onto the single track to the falls.
My extra 40 lbs caught up to me in the last ½ mile and I reached the parking lot 15 minutes after everyone else. Depending on who’d been in the area previously we found between 21 and 40 caches.
It’s becoming a tradition on our group hikes to go for drinks and a meal afterward. Nearby Neptune’s Net was completely jam packed with a line out the door. So we ended up at Ladyface Alehouse at Kanan Rd & the 101. The food menu was limited but everyone found something to eat and there were no complaints.