AUGUST 24, 2015 – TSP, Trippet Ranch to Parker Mesa Overlook

August 25, 2015

During a break in inferno like heat I drove to the upper parking lot in Topanga State Park at Trippet Ranch for a hike.
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About 5 minutes later, I hiked right (South) at the sign, found a nicely placed cache Belly of the Beast (GC545W8) and left a Don_J memorial wooden nickel.
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A few hundred feet later I sat on a convenient bench. I’ve always thought that it’s more for resting than sightseeing because there’s not much of a view.
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I took a swig of slowly melting frozen Pocari Sweat. I prefer it to Gatorade but it’s $4.99/1.5 liter bottle so I only buy it on sale. The Smart Water cap from last week worked well with no leaks. I’m going to get more and use them on all future hikes.
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It was gear test day. At this point I opened my newly bought German hiking umbrella (picture later).
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It’s been so dry and so hot for so long that it was a surprise to see lots of mostly red stage poison oak on the West side of the trail.
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Eagle Rock was visible in the distance. There are famous caches (Scab Island / El Indio Amazonico) in the canyon between. Bushwhacking, crawling through hot humid brush tunnels and rope climbing doesn’t appeal to me so I never tried to find them.
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Today, I found another easy cache and repaired one of my own.
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90 minutes and 3 miles from the parking lot I arrived at Parker Mesa Overlook. No one else was there!
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The haze obscured Santa Monica Bay and the pier where I had lunch (Bubba Gump’s) last month.
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Geocaching.com’s map shows a series of caches extending from the overlook toward the ocean. I’d never noticed that trail on past visits. Two runners staggered in from below, saving me the trouble of searching for it. Only a few dozen feet in below the overlook it widened and became obvious.
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I found E piʻi kuahiwi me ke akahele (GCPTGA) and saved the rest of the caches for another day, and a hike from the bottom. When I reached the overlook again it was full of people. My umbrella caused curious looks and questions. Despite the dorky appearance, it’s like walking with a portable shade tree. The silver metallic coating kept me much cooler than expected. I’m going to start using it on all hot, open terrain hikes.
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On the way back to the parking lot a passing group of Asian teens snickered at me. I heard “BOBA!! BOBA!!” when they were safely beyond my reach. It’s a new derisive term for immigrants, “Brought Over By Airplane.” The umbrella must’ve uncomfortably reminded them of their mothers who take extreme measures to avoid tanning. It was a long uphill hike back.
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Including a short side hike, the round trip was just over 7 miles. It was made easier with Brooks Cascadia 10 trail runners, almost a pound lighter than my regular Merrill hiking shoes. They’re a favorite of long distance hikers. I’ve never rolled an ankle so I’m going to take a chance and wear the Cascadias from now on.
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Note: The lower parking lot at “Daid” Horse, closed for years, is now open.


August 16, 2015 – Emma Wood State Beach (Ventura)

August 16, 2015

It was 101 degrees when I left the Valley at 10am. 40 miles and less than an hour later it was 71 degrees in Ventura. My worries about finding a full parking lot were unfounded. Before I could hop on my bike, a campground volunteer walked up and said I “drove right through,” (past the iron ranger). I pointed to my California Explorer day pass hangtag on my rear view mirror. She put her hands all over my window, peering in, and didn’t recognize that type of pass. She said it was facing the wrong way. I told her that Emma Wood State Beach was specifically listed as “good at,” on the pass’ CA state website and that no regulation specified which direction to hang it. She decided not to make an issue out of it and went on her rounds.
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Right away I saw that the bike path going North was uphill. It ran parallel to active railroad tracks, between a chain link fence on each side. Here are the track and a parking lot road as seen through a break in the fence. The caches were M&M tubes hidden along the fences. I found 5 of them before reaching a narrow section that ran along an unguardrailed freeway onramp, and turned around.
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Close to the parking lot and through a tunnel there was a cache along a dirt single track. (GC5HR4R) Rogue Cache.081615_03_dirt_path
I parked and poked at suspicious rock piles.
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Finding nothing, I sat on the log below and enjoyed the view.
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Note to my non-Camelback/Platypus using friends: It was there I noticed a great new cap type on my Smart Water bottle. It’s easier to use then a regular screw-off cap.
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In years past I would’ve driven around looking for more caches. I’m more relaxed now so I watched sandpipers grazing,
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and sailboats sailing by for an hour before returning to the now 111 degree! Valley and my customary after-outing In-n-Out double double.
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