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Tuesday, November 30, 2010

NOVEMBER 2010 VIDEO

16 DAYS COMPLETE; 984 TO GO

WATCH THE EDITED VIDEO ON YOUTUBE:

DAY 16: LOS PADRES TRAIL

DAY 16: LOS PADRES TRAIL
3 Miles  +700 Feet
16 Day Summary: 60 Miles  +12,400 Feet



Well it's not the Los Padres National Forest, but it is a cute little trail 5 minutes from my job.  From the 101 freeway in Thousand Oaks, exit at Moorpark and head south.  Turn left on Los Padres Dr. and this gate will be on the right.  My mission today was to find a quick uphill trek before the sun went down.  
 
 The trees come alive!

After a brief jog, you're out of the forest and on a small switchback

That's all for the Los Padres Trail.  You could start here and cheat the first half mile
by parking on Hillsborough, but you would miss all the shaded fun.

Halfway to the top.  Better hurry, sun is almost down!

Made it up, no problem!  Today I'll be going to the left to reach the highest point in this region.

This Hawk was just floating still in mid air 100 feet above me!

 The Top!

 It's me again!

 I work somewhere down there

 There it is, no not Sears, the office building in the back on the right!



Time to go back; a quick jog down and I'm done.
 

Monday, November 29, 2010

STARVING FOR NEW TRAILS

I will be spending most of my time in Ventura County, Southern Santa Barbara County and Northern LA County.  That being said, I will also need to expand my radius if I am going to hike 1000 different trails.  Please give me some ideas for new trails to discover in Cali.  Please comment on this post.  I will also take vacations out of state so if you are in Philly, Minneapolis or Alaska, please don't be shy.  Please show support by clicking on my advertisers as well.  Most of them are related to my theme and have been helpful.

Good Night; Day 16 is next...

DAY 15: CONEJO VALLEY BOTANIC GARDEN

DAY 15: CONEJO VALLEY BOTANIC GARDEN
2 Miles +150 Feet

15 Day Summary: 57 Miles  +11,700 Feet




This was a last minute decision.  Month end at my work is always hectic.  Combine that with a long four day weekend, all you really want to do is go home and sleep.  Oops, I forgot my 10 year old hiking shoes and I surely don't want to ruin my brand new one year old marathon shoes.  You know what's funny is that back in high school, I was buying a new pair of Air Jordan's every other month.  One kid in school was like, "Damn Jacobus, you must be rich!"

No, not hardly.  I just worked full time after school at the BP Station to make $4.36 cents an hour.  At the time, I thought that was good because minimum wage was $4.25.  Anyhow, it's not that I don't have shoes.  Just ask my wife, she'll swear that I have 20+ pairs.  Maybe I do, but I wear them down and each shoe has a purpose.  Unfortunately, I do not have a good shoe yet to do these trails.

Around the corner from my work is the Botanic Garden.  I didn't expect much other than I needed to fill the void.  From the 101 in Thousand Oaks, exit Lynn and head North,  Make a right on Gainsborough and about a quarter of a mile down on the right, you will find the park entrance.  There were some baseball fields here and a playground, but mostly this place looked abandoned.  No doubt the winters in Cali are cold.  It was low 60's today and windy.

 Go this way

 Up the stairs

Thru the gate

 My plan was to go as high as I can go, but I couldn't resist walking across this bridge

 I found the desert at the top.  Some vandals carved names and gang lingo into the cactus; Horrible!

I learned something new today.  This is White Sapote Fruit.
I guess it grows mostly in Mexico and has a sweet creamy banana flavor.

To my surprise, I discovered a trail into the sun!

 Perfect for a jog!

 Completely unexpected!

 WARNING!  No worries, stay on the trail and you will be fine.
 
 Gnarly

 Quack, Quack!

 Cool

 The bridge to nowhere, literally.

 The bridge to the kids section

 Beware, there are tiki's lurking about

 The house I grew up in

Me.  Why so serious!

I made the most of this trip.  I explored every possible trail and may have trekked a total of 2 miles.  I was disappointed with the upkeep and variety but this place operates through donations and I did not leave one behind.  I did see a tipped over park bench and corrected the problem.  As I am getting older, I am really appreciating all the great things people do from their hearts.  This is an unselfish place yet I feel that the lost souls of our youth recklessly abuse this nature.  Stop by, pay a visit and leave a donation.  There are boxes at the entrances, but I don't carry checks or cash to contribute.  Maybe this post will spin off and return the favor for my visit.  Day 15 complete...

Sunday, November 28, 2010

DAY 14: THE VENTURA BARRANCA

DAY 14: THE VENTURA BARRANCA
2.5 Miles  +50 Feet

14 Day Summary: 55 Miles  +11,550 Feet

Don't forget to check out the 3-minute video at the bottom of this post.

I felt like a kid again after hiking the barranca with my son.  We parked at the community park on Kimball, a favorite place for my wife to run and where I did most of my marathon training.  From the 126 Freeway in Ventura, exit Kimball and you are there.  Park near Telephone Road and then walk west and exit the park.  The barranca begins on the right.



 This area is quite fun if you have a small dirt bike.  There is an dirt bike trail with a series of jumps.  Some of the jumps were far too extreme for my 7-year-old to attempt.



 After playing around for about 30 minutes, we headed back up to Telephone and then crossed the main road to the other side.




This stretch between Telephone and Ralston was paved and perfect for an afternoon stroll between the neighborhoods.  We then ducked into the barranca and went under the Ralston tunnel.  At first, the other side was similar to where we just were, but then the cemented trail ended...




You got the sense that we were not supposed to be here.  There were so many spiders and their webs crossed our path often.  I carried Ayden's bike as we trampled the overgrown.  I had webs all over my hat and face; it freaked me out!  Then finally, the barranca made sense again and Ayden was exhausted, but not for long:



We then went thru the Bristol Road Tunnel and continued following the barranca.  It was easy going from here on out...




After the rail tracks, there became a bike path to follow the barranca.  I was tired of carrying Ayden's bike, so what a relief.  Finally, civilization!  Want to see a movie?


Back into the wash area.  From here, the barranca dumps into the Santa Clara.  We began our voyage but then the wife met us back at this spot.  This was a perfect drop off/pickup trip.  We went back about a quarter mile just to check it out:

So that's it.  From looking at the map before we left, I anticipated stopping at Barranca Vista Park and Harmon Park for my son.  However, those parks were 30 or so feet above us and fenced off from the barranca.    No big deal, we had a good time.  Check Out the 3-Minute Video:



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