MARCH 20, 2017 – Upper Las Virgenes SE (Ahmanson)

March 19, 2017

Rained out weekends, other hobbies, Netflix binge watching and general malaise kept me away from hiking and caching for the last 2-1/2 months. This morning I forced myself to get off the couch and drive to the Victory Boulevard trailhead at the former Ahmanson Ranch. It’s only 10 minutes away from me and hundreds of thousands of other people. I knew it would be crowded with muggles out to see the new greenery.

The somehow empty end of the parking lot made me hopeful that I was wrong.

The crowd at trailhead itself proved my original thought to be correct.

But only a quarter mile in the muggles thinned out. I reached the first cache, found, logged & returned it.

I hiked to the top of the hill and emerged from the wrong side of a “Keep Out,” sign – that I then remembered from a years ago visit.

Wildflowers were scarce and cactus was unexpectedly abundant.

The next cache was at this trail junction. While I perched on a rock signing the log a lone muggle asked me what I was doing. I gave the standard explanation and handed her my signature wooden nickel that lists the URL.

The 3rd cache was at a familiar location. Over the years I’ve found 3 or 4 caches within 100’. Do you see something suspicious?

It’s not hikers who tear up the trails.

The 4th cache was a DNF. The hint stated that it was somewhere at the base of the rock outcropping. The new greenery made it too annoying to search for long. And I was worried about rattlesnakes underfoot.

I turned around and enjoyed the scenery on my return trip. There were a few sad trees that didn’t make it through the ½ decade drought.

In 2 months the area will be foxtail hell. So cache there now while it’s still green.