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Monday, November 29, 2010

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...

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