It was almost like caching in the ancient days of 5 years ago. Ten of us met at the S end of the 118 Rocky Peak overpass on a cold Sunday morning and carpooled to Johnson Parkeringplass (GC2RCNZ). We used a public easement through a gated community. An exiting black stretch limo stopped and a black tinted rear passenger window rolled down. A distinguished looking older woman, who seemed to be someone we should know, warned, “watch out for those mountain lions.”
What wasn’t like 5 years ago was that no one carried paper printouts and we all signed as a single group, “SFV Heathens.” There was no passing around of each log. Our group name was in honor of the (erroneous) mileage of 6.66 miles shown on a hike planning site. I AM A REAL HEATHEN so I was amused.
We walked on a path made for hikers, between the biggest houses I’ve ever seen in the SFV, to the remains of the Johnson Motorway. The view improved with our altitude gain. Far beyond the uppermost modern mega mansion we stopped at the ruins of an old one that was destroyed decades ago. Several people said it was a fire casualty. Some nice palm and pine trees survived. We replaced the missing cache there, “walking the edge” (GC2QZQ4). Owner Gummyfrog thanked us later.
We stopped at a flat spot for a group picture. deeznutz® is missing because he held the camera. By this time the temperature was up 20 degrees into the 50’s.
The page for a nearby cache called this “skull rock.” It looked like a vulture’s beak to me.
The surroundings were boulder strewn. The trail was much smoother.
Cavewall (GC2ZBP) was infuriatingly close to the trail but almost straight up on a small cave-like ledge. Only deeznutz® braved the scary final few feet to grab the cache. He’s crouched holding the container, dead center of the rock formation. And that’s sissopolis a few feet to the right waving with guppyk8.
Rock & Roll Hoochie Koo (GC1RF24) was Foo’s nemesis and everyone was glad that he found it this time. Here BWidget (Bill), Albackore (Jeff), deeznutz® (D) & Don_J (Don) left us and continued NW on the Chumash Trail to find many more caches.
Foocachers (Kenyon), capdude (Jon), EcuaDeb (Deb), sissopolis (Siss), guppyk8 (Kate) and me went S on the Rocky Peak Fire Road. On the way we diverted to Vertigo Peak (GC25C8), a virtual cache. Instead of risking damage to my recently repaired knee I stayed back and watched the others make the steep ascent – and descent.
Here’s the group at the top along with some muggle hikers.
We regrouped at the fire road and found a few more. That’s Simi Valley in the background.
My Garmin Montana read just over 9 miles at the ending trailhead. I logged 25 caches. Our new caching friend guppyk8 must’ve logged 40+! Eight of us dragged ourselves to McG’s Irish Pub & Grill. The very dark interior (we needed flashlights to read the menus) was cave-like and yet strangely warm and comfortable. The fish & chips were excellent too.