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Thursday, November 18, 2010

DAY 4: HIDDEN VALLEY OVERLOOK TRAIL in RANCHO SIERRA VISTA/SATWIWA

6 Miles  +950 Feet
4 Day Summary: 16 Milles  +2800 Feet
My foot and ankle from last night (Day 3).  It's getting better.  This actually doesn't look too bad.  It felt worse than it looked.  Anyhow, my motto is, work your way thru it...




If you look at the first picture, I take the red trail to the yellow trail and then hike the green trail (Hidden Valley Overlook Trail).  But, I didn't stop there today.  I then went off trail to reach the summit...



This trail is located in Newbury Park, part of Thousand Oaks.  Exit the 101 Freeway at Wendy and just take Wendy to the very end, hence the Wendy Trail Head.  The trails back here are good for day hikes and runs.  I occasionally see mountain bikers back here but the majority of the trails are not long enough to keep a biker interested.  However, there is one very popular unique trail known as the Big Sycamore Canyon Trail, which travels through the forest 8 miles all the way to the beach in upper Malibu.  In fact, I pedaled down this trail when I first moved to Cali.  My then girlfriend Jessi, who is now my wife, drove around the mountain and virtually tied me at the campground that it ends at.  I haven't really done much in the way of mountain biking at all since then.  I suppose it's because I don't own a reliable Mountain Bike, but also because I prefer hiking.



Yeah, that's me.  Raggy hair (dyed), chipped tooth, chubby face, sun in my eyes... But cool windmill...  I used to run out here on my lunch breaks and on windy days, the mill is in full motion.  Today was cool and calm.  This area as you can see is mostly boring fields but it does get gnarly if you go back far enough.  The most exciting adventure back here is Climbing to the top of Boney Mountain.  No time today for that, nearly sundown again...





As you approach the mountain range, you will dip into a little wilderness.  Not much in the way of water, except for the rainy season, which it isn't and barely ever is.  Although, chance of rain Saturday; I'm looking forward to it.  Birds, bunnies and other invisible creatures lurk around these oasis and out in the fields are snakes.  I've run past them before and there are rattlers so be careful with your dog.  Dogs are allowed in the foothill section of this wilderness but they are not permitted in the back country.



The Overlook Trail is also known as Danielson Fire Road.  It says 1 mile, but its a long gradual uphill with tricky footing in some spots.  I was in no condition to run it.  I think it measures out to atleast 1.1 miles...





This last picture is a portion of Boney Mountain.  With the sun setting right by it, I couldn't find a good shot but it really is spectacular.  I was just about 1 mile in and had planned to turn around until I saw:



So I gave chase because the sun was coming down fast and the fog was rolling in.  Not much grip going up:



And then the sunset:




I feel like a Care Bear.  Elevation around 1500 feet, good enough for being above the clouds today.





Hidden Valley

 For Jess, I love You :)

Ok, it was a race back down to the bottom.  Once I carefully slid down the steep grade, I barreled down the trail.  There was one spot that it rose back up 75 feet but I did not alter my speed.  It's actually easier for me to run up hill.  I have more control but after a hundred feet or so, I'm winded (who isn't).  When I finally got to the junction, the crickets were amplifying in my ears and I was now heading into the shaded section.  With cloud cover and no moon light, lets just call it very dark.  I was careful on the down hills and eventually navigated my way back to the windmill.  I got back to my car, stopped at MacDonalds for a McRib and here I am.  I spoke to Dima today, my good buddy from Cleveland.  He called me randomly.  Haven't talked to dude in years.  Nice hearin from you man.  Dima is a story.  Let's just say that he was the influence on how and why I met Jessica.  He prolly has no idea why, but I will save that for another time.  I'm going to chill with my wife for now, watch some good old Vampire Diaries... Hmm, actually I think the new episodes are not going to be on until December.  How pathetic I know that.  Anyway, Peace Out Yo...




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