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Thursday, June 9, 2011

DAY 207: Happy Valley & Fairy Land



DAY 207: Happy Valley & Fairy Land
Date: Thursday June 9, 2011
Miles: 7.0
Elevation Gain: 1800 Feet
Time: 2 hours
Difficulty: Easy trail but long and rollercoastery
Reward: I found Happy Valley & Fairy Land
Description: Following the old dirt roads while being stalked by a hawk!
Where: Newbury Park, CA
Directions:From the 101 Freeway in Thousand Oaks, exit on Rancho Conejo Rd and take it past Amgen near the end.  Turn left on Conejo Center Road and then drive a quarter mile down and park.  On the right look for:

 Trailhead (Arroyo Conejo Gateway)

The first time I hiked on this mile stretch of dirt road was Day 82 when I first climbed Mt. Rex.  Today, take the road to the bottom of the hill (a drop of about 300 feet).  Then stay on the main road pass the other options; Achilles Heel Trail & Abandoned Car Trail.  You will wind around the turn and begin gaining elevation again.  At this point, I have been jogging the entire time.  In the distance on your left will be the bold Mt. Rex.  Then on the right you will see:

 Happy Valley

I met John the other day and he told me about Happy Valley.  I assume this is what he was talking about.  Rather than taking the trail through the valley, stay on the main road.  In a moment, there will be a fork in the road.  I took the right fork which lead me higher.  I climbed to the top and shot this pic:

 Happy Valley Lookout

The trail appeared as if it was going to continue on forever.  It went lower and then higher to what I believe is considered Mt. Conejo.  I decided to turn around today because I wanted to find Fairy Land.  The trail that I came up from was on the left, but if you will encounter a fork option to the right which I assumed would also intersect the main road that I was on prior to turning up to the Happy Valley Lookout.  I remembered John saying that Fairy Land overlooked the weigh station.  He explained that you follow the utility poles, so that's what I did:

 Utility Pool Trail

I was right, I did intersect the road.  It was a 5-way intersection.  I figured to go straight.  To the left would be my way home.  To the right will lead me lower and likely take me to Camarillo Oak Grove Park.  In fact, I believe on Google Maps, this road is known as the Camarillo Oak Grove Fire Road.  Soon enough I will connect all the dots and then publish the map to the blog...  There was also a single track trail leading up to the left, but I left it alone.  Possibly, that would lead to Mt. Rex, but I don't know that for sure.  So, I kept on following the utility poles.  I was fooled once with a fork in the road; I took the upper that led me right to the poles and then the road ended!  No big deal, take the right lower road and then like a roller coaster, back up again.  Finally, nearly to the top:

 Overlooking Cam. Oak Fire Rd? -There's people on horses by the tree

 The trail that I just came up

 Destination Point, there was a Hawk screeching every few seconds

 Fairy Land & Cam Oak Grove Park in the back...


The long distance shots with my camera are nearly worthless.  I'm still haunted by Day 93: Broken Camera Trail!  It doesnt help with the hazy June Gloom...

 Hmm, maybe I can reach Mt. Rex from here and go home that way...

 Thru the fence...

 Weigh stations

And NO!

This is where I stopped.  There was a trail for a moment but from here it became far too steep and my legs were getting all scratched up.  I thought I remembered John saying something about following the fence, but it wasn't worth it.  I was over an hour into my total travel at this point and I had a hawk circling over me and screaching every few seconds.  What was his problem!  Anyhow, I turned back and ran most of the way back.  Good deal that the temperature has been maintaining 7 degrees below normal for this time of year.  Perfect weather for a hike!

What Happened to Day 206?
Let me tell you.  I thought I was just going somewhere to connect some dots.  I didn't think it was going to be anything special so I didn't bring my camera.  However, WATERFALLS, CANYONS and a tunnel through a rock leading to a private water hole.  All this just 5 minutes from my job and only a 5 minute hike to reach the cool stuff.  Ha; I had my phone on me and snapped some pictures.  Now I just need to figure out a way to transfer this to my computer.  Give me a couple days, I'll post the good stuff!!!

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