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Friday, November 19, 2010

DAY 5: CAMARILLO SPRINGS TRAIL

3 Miles  +1100 Feet
5 Day Summary:  19 Miles  +3900 Feet

Ready to Climb!
On the corner of:
 And thru the gate:


I was looking for something local, short and something I've never done before.  Perfect!  To get here, you take the good old 101 Freeway down the Grade from Thousdand Oaks and exit at Camarillo Springs.  There is a large gated community and once your inside, drive all the way back until you find the aforementioned intersection.  So many cars are coming in and out and although there are guard houses, I've never seen a guard in them.  Thus, quite easy to piggy back your way in with another car, especially on a motorcycle.

For the first 0.4 miles you will be following this old road up.  To the left you will be paralleling the 101 Grade.  It's amazing watching nature overgrown the pavement.  I imagine 100 years from now you will barely be able to tell there was ever a road there.  A thousand years, forget about it.


 


There is no hesitation as the trail begins.  You start going up and my Achilles were being tested.  It's a steady unforgiving climb, but the trail is solid.  After the road ends, the path is clearly marked.  Just keep going up and above it all, the volcanic rock.  There are dozens of amazing rock formations.  For a moment, you are in the middle of nowhere.  The thunderous sound of the 101 freeway has vanished.  You are in a lonely valley with no signs of life, with the exception of the power lines.




I read once that there is some very distinctive marking on this volcanic rock.  I remember the article stated that it was being proposed as the eighth wonder of the world.  Of course, the natural layout they were referring to was beyond these rocks facing the 101 freeway.  From the angle I was going, no way I was going to be able to see this phenomenon.  According to the section I chose to do today, my journey was done.  But being so close to overlook the grade, I had to push forward.  I turned left on an old dirt road (Conejo Mountain Road) and then another left on a main grass/dirt road, I believe called Edison Road because it follows the Edison lines.  Another quarter mile down and then up even higher:



GO BROWNS!

In the far off distance, that's the weigh station on the Grade, aka the summit.  Of course, I am higher than all that and started at ground level.  As usual with my hike this time of year, the sun was going down.  Oh wait, there was no sun today.  One reason why I picked to trek this stretch is because I knew there were no trees and the mountain is completely open to allow the light thru.  And then the rain began.  Not heavy, but moisture nevertheless.  I wore jeans and a jacket because the temperature barely climbed above 55 today.  Yeah, Cali has cool weather too and I have the sniffles right now...



It was a little confusing trying to find may way back down the right spot.  It all looked the same, rocky.  I got back down to the Edison Road and to the left, Newbery Park.  Obviously, there would be a much quicker way to climb to this point, but I do this for health and achievement.  But next time I think I will try to find that trail head, check this spot out again, and then continue on the other way.  For now, i better get back home to Jess.

The Intersection of The Camarillo Springs Trail & Conejo Mountain Road

From Edison Rd. I turned onto Conejo Mtn. Rd and knew my turnoff would be coming up quick.  I was eager to make the turn and nearly missed it.  The dirt path to the right is how I get back down.


Good thing I have my bike.  Once I hit the 101, it will be between traffic as usual on a Friday afternoon.  The wetness does not bother me because I ride good.


Finally to the road.  I am coming down from the right intersecting the overgrown road.  This is where the pavement runs out.  I am home free now and it is quite dark.


Finally too my bike.  Yes, pitch black, no moon.  I'm drenched in sweat and rain.  Jacket on... and off to IHOP!  It was the wife's and kids choice.  Ok, so I didn't complain.  After that, we bought new cell phones.  I guess I will be able to take pictures and blog right from my phone.  I dunno.  I'm old school and prefer using the full keyboard, etc.  But, I'm sure the new system will come in handy some day. 

Tomorrow is the weekend!  Yahoo!  Maybe I can finally do a good hike.  Oh yeah, all these hikes have been little foolish rush hikes.  The best is yet to come.  But this weekend, prolly not.  Alyssa has her soccer award lunch at 11:00 and on Sunday, other than football, it's my father-n-law's birthday.  We'll see what the weather is like when I wake up.  I'll prolly go with my son and/or one of my dogs, somewhere...

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