Friday, January 28, 2011


Miles: 3.5
Elevation Gain800 Feet
Time: 1 Hour
Difficulty (1-10): 1.5
Reward (1-10): 3.0
Along the backbone to the bridge
Where: Malibu, CA
Directions: From the 101 Freeway in Thousand Oaks, exit Kanan and drive south for 6.2 miles toward the ocean.  Pass thru two tunnels and turn right on Mulholland.  1.0 mile later, Mulholland goes up a hill to the right.  DO NOT GO THAT WAY.  Instead, stay straight on Encinal.  Drive another 2.3 miles to the trailhead.  Park on the left.
**MY 75 DAY SUMMARY:  261.5 Miles  +40,625 Feet**

I finally figured it out!  Day 73 really thru me on a loop and Day 72 left me with questions.  Once again, my quest was to reach the bridge and officially connect the Backbone Trail from Mulholland, past Encinal and Kanan, all the way to Latigo.  I drew a map and it is right on!!
**This is key.  For all these trails, it makes more sense to take Kanan.  The only section that I did not technically connect was the final hill incline on day 73 on the no name side trail that ends on the top of the Backbone.  However, I did see where this small snaky trail intersects and this map does make logical sense.  You may use it for your adventure to guide your way thru this section of the Backbone.

Be sure to begin today's trail by identifying the sign on the picture above.  If you find the trail that has a sign reading "Pass With Care", you went too far west.  Back up 500 feet and start here.  I began a quick trot down the trail and passed a gate.  Less than a minute into my run, I passed the no name trail that I ventured on day 73.  Don't get me wrong, Day 73 was a cool day and there is much to see down there too, but my goal is to complete the Backbone, so keep running forward.  The trail continued to lower and I knew it would only be a matter of moments until I reached the bridge that I turned around on Day 72.  

Wrong bridge.  This one was about 20 feet above the stream, but I knew I was going the right way.  I followed the water flow and eventually crossed it at creek level by stepping over a couple of rocks.  The trail lifted up to the other side and then intersected a T Junction.  Uh oh, I was not expecting this.  I decided to turn right because it went lower.  Immediately I realized, this was not a trail.  It ended but it lowered into a cool scene:

A couple ducks down here quacked at me.  I chilled out for a bit, shot some footage and then began running the correct way along the Backbone.  I saw a very bushy gray quarrel, but he was farrel and did not want his picture taken.  The trail was nicely shaded in this section and I can only imagine what a relief this damp spot offers in the hundred degree summer heat. 
As expected, I reached the bridge that I was in search for.  I crossed it and then began hiking up into the sun.  Nah, I thought, why do that?  I've already been that way so I ran back down and crossed the bridge.  And then I stopped again.  Ok, back up I go.  I should connect with the No Name Trail.  For the next five to ten minutes, it was straight up.  The trail began to level out but it still favored the incline.  I saw the missing trail to my left but decided to keep pushing forward.  I figured that my day would be better served by actually hiking down Trancas Canyon Road.  

I intersected the road and turned left.  There is a sign to the right that reads "private property".  On Day 72, I hiked from Zuma Ridge to this road so I can attest that it goes thru and there are no cows.  Anyhow, after turning left from the "end of the backbone" Trancas Road goes two ways?  Hmm, my car is to the left, so lets go that way.  I hiked up and then back down and a quarter mile in the dirt road ended at an edison tower.  You know, I think I purposely go the wrong way just so I can say I went every way possible.  I am curious and now that I did that, I turned back the other way.  Trancas Canyon Road led me back out to Encinal Road.  Turn left.

Well, another jog along the concrete.  I'm not complaining because there is a section of the road that must have been blown open by dynamite.  The side ridges are pretty neat.  I ran a total of 1.0 miles down and then back up to my bike.  The mileage is right on because when I rode back, I kept track of it.  Day 75 complete.  This section of the Backbone, complete.  There is still much more ground to cover on the Backbone, but for those sections, I will need more than an hour to tackle it!

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