FEBRUARY 24, 2014 – Scary Dairy, post-fire

February 23, 2014

It was my first visit after the Camarillo Spring Fire burned most of the park. Signage indicates that it now belongs to CSUCI. I paid $7. to the iron ranger and drove to the model airfield parking lot. A sign there read “flying unmanned aircraft prohibited.” No more planes, no more flyers. So mine was the only car in the lot.
020914_01_parking
It was oddly silent on the hike North toward the interesting stuff.
020914_02_walk
A permanent looking chain link fence now surrounds the ‘barn.’
020914_03_barn
There’s one around the main buildings too. My camera lens was small enough to fit between the links. I’m glad that my geofriends and I explored the barn and buildings in 2012, before the fence went up.
020914_04_ruins
Until this point, the hike was mostly flat.
020914_05_burned
Though the fire was almost 10 months ago, most areas were completely burned with little visible recovery. The previous day’s light rain caused the smell of ash and soot to be all pervasive. It was definitely not the day to visit for people with sensitive noses (not me).
020914_06_dead_cactus
There’s a cache at each “X.” The “F” is a Fragrant Field of Fennel.
020914_07_lookdown
This is a closer view of “F.” There wasn’t much fuel for the fire here. So it wasn’t intense and didn’t linger, leaving the fennel seeds undamaged and ready to germinate.
020914_08_fennel
There’s almost nothing left at the old school except for this metal part of a bench, a building foundation and some rocks arranged in circles. All of the playground equipment seen on my previous visit is gone.
020914_09_bench
I found more caches and climbed over hills on the way back to the main trail. An easy cache was at this old water trough.
020914_10_trough
Nearby, I spotted a few cactuses that survived the flames.
020914_11_regen
My figure 8 hike was complete. I ended my 3-1/2 hour visit with 4 hills climbed, 11 hiking caches found and 1 DNF. I didn’t see another person. There are still a lot of unfound (by me) caches on the bigger hills so I’ll be back.

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