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Sunday, February 13, 2011

DAY 91: THE DARK TUNNEL

DAY 91: THE DARK TUNNEL
Date: Sunday February 13, 2011
Miles: 2.25
Elevation Gain: 100 Feet
Time: 1.75 Hours
Difficulty: Climbing fences and facing your fear of the dark.  This hike is meant for juvenile delinquents, not families with kids and dogs. 
Reward: A sewage waterfall and a playground for the kids. 
Description: Follow the drainage system as far as you dare.  Then go back on the high road until you reach the Santa Clara River.  Walk the Riverbed and then hike along the linear park in the neighborhood.  Play hide-n-go-seek tag on the playground and call it a day!
Where: Ventura, CA
Directions:From the 101 Freeway in Ventura, exit on Johnson and drive North to Bristol.  Turn right and just keep going.  Bristol turns into North Bank.  With 1000 feet to go before the road ends, turn left on Burnside and park.

Walk across the street and turn right on this path.  I came here with Ayden and Domino on DAY 12 but parked one street down and hiked to the left.  Today's goal was to hike the dry riverbed toward Johnson where I wound up on DAY 14 with Ayden.  If you recall, he rode his bike along the barranca and many shots from that day were used to make my NOVEMBER 2010 VIDEO.


Before we could venture out into the river, we came upon this place.  It looked interesting so we hiked up it.

We followed the drainage system to a sewage waterfall!

 Thru a small tunnel


At the end of the narrow pathway, the never ending tunnel began.  We walked pretty far into it but without a flashlight, it would have been foolish to continue.  I'm not going to win any father of the year awards for taking my kids to this place but when you think about it, there's a good chance that they'll hang out here with their friends when they're teenagers.  At least I'll know where these places are and what there all about.  Honestly, it's no big deal.

We turned back to daylight and then climbed up a ladder and climbed a fence to walk along a gravel road.  We hopped fences and crossed streets and train tracks until we finally made it back to the riverbed.  We walked to the right as planned and then made our way to the middle to watch the river flow:

 Santa Clara River


We only stayed in the riverbed for ten minutes or so.  We saw an exit and walked up the hill.  There was a gazebo and linear park at the corner of Salt Water and Rio Grande (my next parking spot to complete the river walk to Johnson).  The walkways went all different directions and even crossed a bridge.  However, rather than walk along these linear parks, we hiked back along a gravel walkway just above the river.  About a quarter mile later, we noticed a park to the left beyond the trees, so we...


...hopped the fence and played hide=n-go-seek tag in the park.  This park is on the corner of Rio Grande and North Bank.  After 30 minutes of play, it was a two minute walk back to the car.  Perfect!

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