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Saturday, February 18, 2012

Day 459: Phantom Trail

Here we go...

Day #459 * Hike #518 * New Track #467
Thursday February 16, 2012
Phantom Trail - Agoura Hills, CA

My Tripometer: 2 Hours * 6.25 Miles * +1375 Feet

 The better Trailhead...

Directions:
From the 101 Freeway in Agoura Hills exit on Liberty Canyon Road and head south to the end of the road (about a mile).  Park your car (bike) and begin your journey.  The paved road straight ahead marks the Liberty Canyon Trail.  The picture above shows another opening to the right.  I shot that pic on my return because I came back from that way (after sundown).

I was just in this area last week,  Day 452 Liberty Canyon Trail
Just as before, I continued straight down the Liberty Canyon Trail.  The paved road will end and a single track to the left will begin.  This then opens up to a wider dirt road.  Off to the right, I saw a...

Coyote stalking me, and then he ran the other way to blend in with the grass

The route is easy to follow and within a quarter mile from the start you will see the "Phantom Trail" sign on the right.  Looking directly into the sun, it was hard to see but I began to negotiate my way toward the creek...

 Simple easy crossing

 Huh?!  Back to the right???

Just on the other side of the creek you meet back up with the other road.  I was expecting to turn left but I turned back to the right as the arrow indicated.

 Heading back to my car???

 The coyote again, lurking at me from the other side
(He prolly thought I was stalking him)

 Ah, the new trailhead!

I was worried that I was just going to end back up at my car.  Actually, I began to felt relieved because I was trekking in jeans and wasn't really feeling it.  However, rather than a simple 1 mile loop, I turned left and began the journey.  The weather was perfect but I was wearing jeans and long sleeves in fear of poison oak.  I read up that this area was damp and the vegetation is often overgrown...

 Looking back at the marsh that I just tramped over

So far the theory was right, but I actually didn't have to go that way...


 Walk over the tree stumps and stay left around the marsh

I took this picture on the way back.  Not a big deal but it was a bit easier.

 Found the legit trail, looking back

 Begin heading up

 Nicely shaded, look out for horse $#!+

 Higher and higher, the trail is well marked

 I ran when the ups leveled out...

 Views from up here

 Heading toward Muholland HWY

 The M.A.S.H. site and Rock Pools down that way

Looking Back:  Day 399 Rock Pools I was down in that area a couple months ago.  In that post was a sign that read: Grassland Trial- Liberty Canyon Fire Road, Las Virgines Fire Road and PHANTOM TRAIL.  --I was so close to where I am trekking right now.  Eventually all dots will be connected; way cool!

 Start heading down

 Short switchbacks

 Made it!!!

 Muholland Highway

The Grassland Trail is probably about a half mile down to the left.  However, I believe there is another trail system just around that bend.  I didn't check it out because the sun was setting and I had over 3 miles to run back.  Going back was easier because after you climb the first 500 feet or so, its pretty much all downhill.  I ran most of it and made it back just before pitch black...  The days are still short this time of year but if you can commit to running, working an 8 hour day and hiking 6+ miles is still achievable.  The legs said thank you to the 1400 feet elevation gain.  Most of all, I'm not itchy :)


Day #460 Hike #519 * Duplicate Track
Friday February 17, 2012
Camino Real - Ventura, CA

Happy 10 Year Anniversary (4 Years Married)
My Tripometer: 1 Hour * 2 Miles * +25 Feet

 Night walk with champagne...

...and kids 

Jess and I have known each other for 10 years now.  We took Sammi, Ayden, Kaitlyn and Jacob to the park.  We rounded the softball fields a few times and talked about this weekend.  Which reminds me, I have to get off here because we have a full day planned...

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