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Friday, December 31, 2010

DAY 47: PIRU LAKE TO BLUE POINT (NEW YEARS EVE)

DAY 47: PIRU LAKE TO BLUE POINT (NEW YEARS EVE)
Miles: 12.50
Elevation Gain:  1200 Feet
Time: 4 Hours
Difficulty (1-10): 6
Reward (1-10): 4
Description: Biking along a lake on a closed road
Where?: Piru, CA
Directions: From Ventura & Santa Barbara, take the 126 to Piru.  From LA, take the 5 to the 126 West and turn into town.  Follow the signs to Piru Lake. 
**MY 47 DAY SUMMARY:  168.75 Miles  +24,225 Feet**
PHOTOS ARE BACK!!!  HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

I'm not going to get carried away uploading a boatload of photos to this blog.  I'm loving Facebook and will continue to post photos there daily.  I'll also continue to make videos and attach links to YouTube.  However, this blog will remain my main source to convey information about each and every hike!

Today, I swindled the family into a 20 mile adventure.  Of course, we only did about 12 miles, but today's journey led me down a path that I haven't been to before.  In the summer time, Piru Lake is overpopulated and in my opinion, disgusting.  It was refreshing to come out here on a day where the temperature was no higher than 50 degrees and no other people were around.  ***You will be expected to pay $9.00 per car to enter the park for the day.  Many years ago, the National Forest closed the road that leads out to Blue Point, a campground beyond Piru Lake.  Apparently, there is an endangered toad lurking about, but I didn't see any.  However, we did see plenty of deer, crows, hawks, vultures, an owl, a coyote and a condor!
In the summer time, I believe the road is opened further to a large parking lot with a boat ramp, but we were forced to bike the first mile and then another 4+ miles after that.  My map of the Sespe Wilderness is old and from what I thought I saw was, a flat road following the lake.  Just like everything else I plan, that proved not to be true.  We spent much of the time walking our bikes up the hills.  I guess I can blame it on the seven and nine year old, but no doubt, it was tuff.  When we finally got to Blue Point, we couldn't go much further. 

My plan was to pedal five miles and then hike about five miles to the Devils Gateway.  I've seen pictures of this spot and let me say, the reward would be a 10 if we made it there.  The problem was, the water level of the creek was too high!  I could have jumped it at one spot but I would have likely been drenched.  Rhyme of reason, the wife, said NO!

The remnants of Blue Point

You are not allowed to camp overnight here!

My understanding is, you may not use this area at all.  So, we walked thru it.  The main road veered to the right, but we could not cross it because the stream level was too high.  That was ok because a dirt road proceeded forward.  According to the map, the trail leading to the Gateway stays to the left of the river, but just ahead this dirt road crossed the water flow.  So, we stopped, ate peanut butter and jelly and skipped some rocks.  I believe this is the trail that I was looking for.  I will return during the dry season.  Only problem is, the temperature will probably be 100+!  I've been wanting to do an overnight back here, but rounding up the troops, who don't have bikes and carrying the heavy bag will be a challenge.

There is another way!  About 1 mile before Blue Point, we passed this trailhead:

Potholes Trailhead

It was a hard convince, but when I dropped my bike and started hiking, the family followed.  You see the grass, well that's the trail.  It is obvious, for a minute, literally.  After that, it's a guess.  Working our way up the grassy foothill, we did notice two plastic Trail signs.  My 7-year-old Ayden was acting more like a 3-year-old, brat, so I had to carry him on my shoulders.  I was also carrying a camel pack with 10 additional water bottles in it.  The footing was tuff and very quickly, it felt like 100 degrees hiking up this wearing my sweatshirt.  I cannot imagine hiking this in the summer with the heavy pack.  I honestly don't know where the trail went but I can tell you where it wouldn't go and with process of elimination, I figure you would just keep going up.  Good Luck if you try this.  Since this trail does loop, my suggestion is to go in from Blue Point and then camp at a spot called Log Cabin.  The next day, hike back the Pothole Trail and hopefully you will wind up here.

It's almost New Years, so I hope you had a happy one.  I will update Facebook, next year :)



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