OCTOBER 4, 2015 – Backbone Trail (BBT) West from Kanan

It rained overnight. And today was the first day below 85 degrees in a month. It was a good time to hike the Backbone Trail (BBT), West from the Kanan Trailhead. I arrived at the free parking lot with my good friend sissopolis at 9:30am.
It drizzled for the first half hour. It’s been dry for so long that even with the overnight rain there was no mud. The streambed was completely dry.
We stepped under the bridge to find the clue for multi-cache, Bridging the Backbone (GC3T9Y2). In a normal year sissopolis’ would be foot deep in creek water. We checked out a coned-off 8’ circular sinkhole and enjoyed the overhead canopy.
There were lots of small elevation changes. I lost 15 lbs this year and recently changed to lighter gear (more about that later). Still, I got a good workout keeping up with the younger and ultra fit siss. We emerged at an unpaved service road from behind this sign.
Looking forward (NW) from the same spot we saw what looked like an old landslide. This stretch of the BBT was completely new to me because there are no caches. (NPS land).
We reached a trail intersection and hiked to a cache just outside NPS land NPS is the Neighbor (GC26NYH). I logged it in 2011 and now reaching it from the East closed a gap on my “BBT hiked” map. I didn’t remember how the cache was hidden. Siss made the find today.
The drizzle was long gone and sunlight occasionally came through the clouds. We turned back toward the parking lot. On approach we took a short side hike to Kanan and found a roadside telephone pole cache Peace Get Set 151 (GC5H69R). We could’ve walked along the road back to the parking lot. But the noise and the possibility of being splattered by a speeding-texting-distracted driver convinced us to dip back onto the BBT for the last ½ mile. The round trip was just under 8 miles.

Gear changes – inspired by Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) thru-hikers, those who hike 2,653 miles on the trail from the Mexican border to the Canadian border, all in 1 trip. Pack: Marmot Ultra Kompressor 22L ultralight, Fujifilm Finepix XP-80 waterproof freezeproof dustproof outdoor camera, Thermarest-Z sitting pad, “Storm – world’s loudest whistle.” And of course, I now wear trail running shoes (Brooks Cascadia 10) instead of hiking boots. So far, so good. All the new gear is working flawlessly.


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