JANUARY 8, 2013 – “Secret Trail” (Calabasas)

Seventeen days after my surgery, I decided to beta test my knee with a NOT FLAT hike. I chose the “Secret Trail” series in Calabasas only 12 minutes from home. The first cache Secret Trail Head (GC1RXJ1) was a few steps to the left of the picture below.
010613_01_trailhead
The trail over the lone stream crossing was typical of the terrain in the first ½ mile.
010613_03_trail
Caches were found every 600’ or so. One of them was visited by time traveling cachers from the future.
010613_02_sigs
I was surprised to see ‘onion rocks’ on a hillside. Years ago renowned naturalist Milt McAuley told me that they were unique to ‘Eagle Rock’ in Topanga State Park. I’m going to guess that both sets of ‘onions,’ 4 miles apart, are in the same layer of rocks. Are there any lithologic stratigraphers out there to confirm this?
010613_04_onion_rocks
At the ridgeline 200’ down the trail (S) from Secret Trail – Trailside Cache (GC1T0Z3) there was a great view of mega houses to the West. These are the same houses in the opening map sequence of Weeds.
010613_05_houses
Here’s a look back to the ridge from .25 miles farther down the trail. The “X” is where I took the ‘Weeds’ picture. The arrow is above the ridgeline animal trail that leads directly to Secret Ridge (GC1RXJD).
010613_06_double_ridge
A few uphill switchbacks later the ‘Secret Trail’ met the Calabasas Peak Motorway, a really wide fire road. An old cache there, CCC Junction (GCM9FY), was completely exposed. The last names on the log were my geofriends EcuaDeb and sissopolis, 7 months ago. I know that THEY didn’t leave the container this way. Muggles must’ve found it and carelessly tossed it back. I re-hid it under cover, 3 feet away.
010613_07_ccc_cave
After going North on the motorway and finding a lone cache, I doubled back. 200’ past Mini Half Dome (GC3GVRV) I saw this cave house on the East side of the trail. How many people used it as a shelter over the past 10,000+ years?
010613_07A_house_rock
This is the summit register on top of Calabasas Peak. The very well hidden cache was about 30’ away.
010613_08_register
If you see this strangely out of place collection, you’re too far South.
010613_10_seashells
Someone tried to chew their way into the cache. I’ve seen the exact same damage on multiple decon containers over the years. The narrow teeth marks seem to indicate a rat or similar rodent.
010613_11_decon
I stood up after signing the log and scared the crap out of a hiking muggle couple who’d just signed the summit register. They almost ran down the peak to get away. From their point of view, an unknown dweeb popping out of the bushes in such a remote location must’ve been scary. Oh well, their loss. I took in the scenery and then retraced my steps back to the car.
010613_09_summit_view
At the end, after 13 caches and no DNF’s, my knee felt fine and I now cautiously consider it completely healed. Thanks to the hiders and sorry if the ‘Secret Trail’ isn’t so secret anymore.

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