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Saturday, March 31, 2012

Seal the beach, cont...

Harbor Seals & TrailsAbout Us
Harbor Seals & Trails was formed in March of 2011 as a business catagorized under Support Forestry Activity, IRS classification #115310.  Currently we are filing for a non-profit status with the Secratary of State in California to be recognized as a 501 (c)(3) organization.  Our immediate objective is to seek full time beach closure near Casistas Pier in Carpinteria, California.  The purpose of this campaign, known as SEAL the Beach, is to help protect the Pacific Harbor Seal.

At Harbor Seals & Trails, we are determined to give back to the community.  Protecting and utilizing good Open Space for public recreational usage is our top agenda.  We believe that if the public has a more legitimate way to hike and explore undeveloped land, there will be less vandalism, trespassing and disruption to the surrounding ecosystems.  Our goal is to not only secure the easements necessary to access this land but we will be mindful with the long term upkeep and security to ensure a pleasant experience.  This will be done by asking the California Conservation Corps (CCC) to help maintain trails.  Additionally, we will install trash cans, recycle bins and doggy poo disposal stations.  Signs will be added to clearly mark the correct path.  We will be adamant and will not tolerate venturing off the approved trail. 
Future Plans:
•Mountain Bike Trail from Camarillo Oak Grove Park  to Wildwood Park.  The goal is to create a trail from Camarillo to Thousand Oaks without crossing any roads.    •Two Trees Trail for the City of San Buenaventura.  In 1898, 13 Eucalyptus trees were imported from Austria.  In 1903, a brush fire destroyed all but five of these trees.  In 1940, three of the trees were hacked down as a Halloween prank.  Immediately, the three diseased trees were replanted.  In 1956, thugs cut down one of the original trees and two of the replaced trees.  Since then, for more than a half century, the two remaining trees stand strong.  However, hooligans continue to violate the trees by carving their initials and spray paint graffiti on their trunks.  Two Trees has become a symbol in Ventura.  They stand alone on top of the hills and can be seen from the harbor to the college.  It's important that we protect this landmark.  By creating a public trail, we will employ security to ensure that residents about by the rules.
•Trail from Two Trees to Sulphur Mountain Road.  The City of Ventura lacks good Hiking and Mountain Biking Trails.  The hillside above Ventura is a perfect location for the novice hiker.  Sulphur Mountain Road already connects Casitas Springs to the Upper Ojai Valley.  It would be sensible to have a trail from Ventura bisect this road.   
•Snowy Plover Trail:  Just North of Oxnard Shores  is a nesting zone for the Snowy Plover.  This area is protected from March 15 to September 15 but there is no marked trail to hike from the sand dunes to the beach.  We propose year round closure of the nesting zone to preserve this area entirely.  By creating a path to cross the nesting area before the power plant, we believe residents will abide to the closure and stay within the permitted access way.  This can easily be done by roping off the short distance that it  takes to cross the zone.


Contact Us
Phone: (805) 701-6123
Email: Jeremy@SEALtheBeach.com
Mailing Address:

            Harbor Seals & Trails
            1090 Gilbert Lane
            Ventura, CA. 93003 How You Can Help? 

Currently, we have no source of revenue to fund any of our projects.  In the near future we anticipate driving revenues through our Seal Club Card service.  We will also be working with local businesses to advertise on this website and brochures.  That said, we are dependant on the local residents in Southern California to identify our mission as a worthy cause to accomplish these goals.
You can help by doanating and/or signing the online petition to SEALtheBeach:
                    Donation & Petition
.Content copyright 2011-2012. Harbor Seals & Trails. All rights reserved.

More SEALtheBeach arhived

Facts About the Pacific Harbor Seal


There are over 300,000 Pacific Harbor Seals in population, approximately 40,000 in the waters of California.  These seals are capable of long distance movement but they do not migrate.  For this reason it is important that their rookeries are protected.

Growing 4 to 6 feet in length, the adult male may reach a weight of 375 pounds while the female will not weigh more than 330 pounds.  Harbor Seals can be found as far north as Alaska and south to Isla Cedros which is halfway down the Baja Coast.

Their diet consists mainly of flounder, perch and herring.  However, if shrimp, squid and octopus is available, the harbor seal will oblige.  These foods lead to a high metabolic rate to help generate a high body temperature, which is necessary in the cold pacific waters.  Multiple layers of fat blubber give the seal insulation, buoyancy and energy reserve.
Female harbor seals usually give birth to one pup a year between the months of January and June.  Occasionally they give birth to twins but the mother is only strong enough to care for one pup at a time.  If twins are born, the mother typically cares for the stronger pup and allows the weaker one to die.  Pups are generally born two feet in length and will weigh about 20 pounds.  Within days the mother will teach the pup how to swim but the pup will need many weeks to before it is ready to endure ocean conditions.

Play the Seal Treasures Mystery Game!  Fun for all ages! 
Hi, I'm Jeremy Jacobus.  On November November 15, 2010, I decided that I would hike 1000 Trails in 1000 Days.  On 
DAY 40 I came across the Carpinteria Bluffs and discovered the Seal Sanctuary.  I continued on with my hiking adventure and returned to the Sanctuary on DAY 84.  It wasn't until after I was published in the Ventura County Star that I realized I could make a difference if I hiked for a cause.  I am passionate for the Pacific Harbor Seal, thus it was obvious and i am adament to help seek year round beach closure to help protect the Rookery entirely! 
You can help through Donation & Petition.  If you are interested in the trails that I have hiked, please check out my blog at www.CaliHike.blogspot.com
Seal Treasue Mystery Game
Off the beaten path on trails all over Southern California, I've hidden Seal Treasures.  I challange you to strap on your hiking boots, fill up your camel pack and set off to solve the mystery.  There are several mystery games that you can try.  They have been designed to be age appropriate and to your specific skill level.  I will continue to add challanges as I hike.  The Treasure Hunt is absolutely FREE to play.  Please sign up and try to conquer all of the challenges.

Frustrating...

***Attached to my previous post was a weeks worth of hiking tails .oomg, its all deleted!!

I am so mad, was in such a rush, guess posts cant be that long!!

Bottom line, I've been busy, still hiking, and going on vacation tomorrow so when I get back, I'll have 3 weeks of posts to do.  No way dude, too much work...

**From here on out, I am only going to write and share the cool spots.  I will use my log book for the rest.  Man, this hurts my stomach!  I gotta go.  See ya'll in a week+ when I get back.  Hope to have a few cool spots for everyone to see :)

More SEALtheBeach info to archive:

Donations & Petition



**We need $85.00 to renew this site by March 27, 2012.  We are currently seeking help from other organized non-profit organizations to help this campaign.
You may also write a check or money order payable to Harbor Seals & Trails and send it to:
Harbor Seals & Trails
1090 Gilbert Lane
Ventura, CA 93003
Please click the link below to sign the petition.  We must convey to the California Coastal Commision that we have support for full time beach closure around Casitas Pier:  
Click Here to Sign The Petition

Pursuant to Carpinteria Civil Code § 1008; No use by any person or persons, no matter how long continued, of any land, shall ever ripen into an easement by prescription, if the owner of such property posts at each entrance to the property or at intervals of not more than 200 feet along the boundary a sign reading substantially as follows: "Right to pass by permission, and subject to control, of owner: Section 1008, Civil Code."
The goal is to grant public easements across the adjacent private properties to restore historic usage of the bluff top trails.
For more information regarding the California Coastal Commision, please review Some Facts of Public Prescriptive Rights.


 
 
Harbor Seals & TrailsAbout Us
Harbor Seals & Trails was formed in March of 2011 as a business catagorized under Support Forestry Activity, IRS classification #115310.  Currently we are filing for a non-profit status with the Secratary of State in California to be recognized as a 501 (c)(3) organization.  Our immediate objective is to seek full time beach closure near Casistas Pier in Carpinteria, California.  The purpose of this campaign, known as SEAL the Beach, is to help protect the Pacific Harbor Seal.

At Harbor Seals & Trails, we are determined to give back to the community.  Protecting and utilizing good Open Space for public recreational usage is our top agenda.  We believe that if the public has a more legitimate way to hike and explore undeveloped land, there will be less vandalism, trespassing and disruption to the surrounding ecosystems.  Our goal is to not only secure the easements necessary to access this land but we will be mindful with the long term upkeep and security to ensure a pleasant experience.  This will be done by asking the California Conservation Corps (CCC) to help maintain trails.  Additionally, we will install trash cans, recycle bins and doggy poo disposal stations.  Signs will be added to clearly mark the correct path.  We will be adamant and will not tolerate venturing off the approved trail. 
Future Plans:
•Mountain Bike Trail from Camarillo Oak Grove Park  to Wildwood Park.  The goal is to create a trail from Camarillo to Thousand Oaks without crossing any roads.    •Two Trees Trail for the City of San Buenaventura.  In 1898, 13 Eucalyptus trees were imported from Austria.  In 1903, a brush fire destroyed all but five of these trees.  In 1940, three of the trees were hacked down as a Halloween prank.  Immediately, the three diseased trees were replanted.  In 1956, thugs cut down one of the original trees and two of the replaced trees.  Since then, for more than a half century, the two remaining trees stand strong.  However, hooligans continue to violate the trees by carving their initials and spray paint graffiti on their trunks.  Two Trees has become a symbol in Ventura.  They stand alone on top of the hills and can be seen from the harbor to the college.  It's important that we protect this landmark.  By creating a public trail, we will employ security to ensure that residents about by the rules.
•Trail from Two Trees to Sulphur Mountain Road.  The City of Ventura lacks good Hiking and Mountain Biking Trails.  The hillside above Ventura is a perfect location for the novice hiker.  Sulphur Mountain Road already connects Casitas Springs to the Upper Ojai Valley.  It would be sensible to have a trail from Ventura bisect this road.   
•Snowy Plover Trail:  Just North of Oxnard Shores  is a nesting zone for the Snowy Plover.  This area is protected from March 15 to September 15 but there is no marked trail to hike from the sand dunes to the beach.  We propose year round closure of the nesting zone to preserve this area entirely.  By creating a path to cross the nesting area before the power plant, we believe residents will abide to the closure and stay within the permitted access way.  This can easily be done by roping off the short distance that it  takes to cross the zone.


Contact Us
Phone: (805) 701-6123
Email: Jeremy@SEALtheBeach.com
Mailing Address:

            Harbor Seals & Trails
            1090 Gilbert Lane
            Ventura, CA. 93003 How You Can Help? 

Currently, we have no source of revenue to fund any of our projects.  In the near future we anticipate driving revenues through our Seal Club Card service.  We will also be working with local businesses to advertise on this website and brochures.  That said, we are dependant on the local residents in Southern California to identify our mission as a worthy cause to accomplish these goals.
You can help by doanating and/or signing the online petition to SEALtheBeach:
                    Donation & Petition
.Content copyright 2011-2012. Harbor Seals & Trails. All rights reserved

Day 489: Say good bye to SEALtheBeach

Day #489 * Hike #552 * New Track #491
Sunday March 18, 2012
Carpinteria Salt Marsh - Carpinteria, California

Carpinteria State Beach
Harbor Seals
My Tripometer: 2 Hours * 3 Miles * +75 Feet

**What a crazy month of March!  I was dreadfully ill, Alyssa Broke her arm, I had to boot out my tennant from my condo and then paint and recarpet the condo, intense work environment trying to save our client, weather has been crappy and I am going on vacation tomorrow!

Good news is, Alyssa is finally in a cast and healing, the condo is rented, I closed the month strong at work and I'm going on vacation tomorrow.  I haven't really done much planning yet and I am definately not packed, but I'll get there.  I just watched my Buckeyes lose - Horrible!  But to be expected coming from Ohio.

So lets see, I havent been on this blog in 2 weeks but this is what's happening.  After the Palm Springs trip, I misplaced my camera.  On day 489, I visited the Harbor Seals from Carpenteria State Beach.  I've walked around these lines and was content calling today a duplicate but I decided to work to the north along the beach.  I went as far as I could until I reached the tide.  Still, it was crossable so I took off the shoes and tramped to the other side where the reach a rocky island.  More fascinating was the Carpenteria Salt Marsh that took over the land.  I wandered a bit, explored and said, I have to come back with a camera.  There was a hidden beach cove in the distance but I did not see any legit trails...

By the way, the Seals are doing excellent.  They are still very protected this time of year but my website is not.  I really havn't done any promoting other than writing about it on this blog.  I gather people really don't care, I don't have the time to really take this to the next step so I am going to let this site go.  I am not renewing it and by the time I come back from Washington State, the website will be history :(

For the sake of saving the info, I am copying and pasting the relavant info here:





Seal the Beach
Supporting historic usage of the bluff top trails and full time beach closure near Casitas Pier to protect the Harbor Seal Preserve in Carpinteria, California.



 
HELP ROTECT THE SEALS!
For more than a century, Pacific Harbor Seals have chosen the coves beneath the Carpinteria Bluffs to birth their pups.  Since 1988, rights activists have made it possible to protect this natural habitat by closing a quarter mile section of beach pursuant to Carpinteria Municipal Code § 12.24.090. The beach closure is in effect from December 1st - May 31st.  The SEALtheBeach campaign has been formed to obtain year round beach closure which will help protect the Seal Sanctuary entirely.



How You Can Help?   
We are asking the public to get involved by signing the PETITION and/or helping through donation.


Immediate Objectives:

  • Petition the California Coastal Commission for year round beach closure
  • Create Public Awareness about the Sanctuary 
  • Grant Bluff Top Trail Easements

Evidence has determined that the Pacific Harbor Seal will return to this rookery every year to birth their pups between December and May.  The pups are born with a thin layer of skin and they need time to build up enough fat blubber to conquer the cold ocean waters.  Seals are skittish by nature and if they feel threatened or are disturbed, it would not be uncommon for the mother seal to abandon her pup.  It is imperative that the public respects the beach closure to ensure the survival of the Harbor Seal.   




Opposition:There is no group or organization opposing the Beach Closure.  However, the California Coastal Commision currently allows the public to trek this portion of beach from June to November.  Inadequate information to the contrary results in human interference over this sacred passage.  There are miles of accessible beach on either side of Casitas Pier.  Moreover, bluff top trails allow for passing without disruption to the sanctuary.  Private Property owners may appeal at anytime the full time usage of these historic trails.  Therefore we must have their acceptance and/or file for easements to allow the public to pass legally. 



More Concerns:

The pier that appears beyond the Sanctuary is operated by Venoco, Inc.  This is private property and the public may not trespass across the pier.  Essentially, it is a very active oil pier.  Thus, the beach below is not glamorous in anyway.  This is not a secluded section of beach where one should desire to have a romantic picnic, nor is it a safe place to bring your children.  That said, the picture below describes the OPEN section of beach to the east that is not being challenged.  These coves are equally as dangerous, especially during high-tide, but they are far enough away from the seals to prevent any disturbance.


      The Rookery


      Directions to Sanctuary:Parking and viewing of the Seals is absolutely FREE to the Public.  Approximately 20 minutes North of Ventura or 15 minutes South of Santa Barbara, exit the 101 Freeway at Bailard Avenue.  Turn toward the Ocean and drive straight into the Parking area.  The view point is about a half mile hike with no elevation gain/loss from the parking lot.  For hiking details and/or alternate ways to reach the sanctuary, CLICK HERE.


      Long Term Objectives:
      • Construct a Safer Viewpoint
      • Full-time Monitoring of Beach Closure
      • Expand Signage and Awareness
      • Public Restroom Facility
      • Bridge or Tunnel to Cross Train Tracks
      • Purchase and Donation of Adjacent Property
      • Donate a Seal Themed Playground





      Dangers:

      The picture above describes the condition of the beach to the West of the Sanctuary during Low-Tide.  The problem is, a few hours later High-Tide will roll in and the picture to left is a great example of the difficulty one would have to trek back to the opening in the bluff.  The picture below reflects the beach condition between the tides beyond the East end of the pier.  As you can see, if you enter this quarter-mile section of beach at the wrong time, you could become trapped because there is no escape.  The Carpinteria Fire Department commonly trains off the bluff to the east side of the pier, away from the seals, in case of such an emergency.

      Harbor Seals & Trails:

      • Learn how you can save 10% at local businesses by clicking on the SEAL CLUB CARD.  Best of all, it's FREE!
      • If you are a business owner and would like to participate in the Seal Club Card program, advertise on this website and/or local brochures, please click: PARTICIPATE
      • Click on SEAL TREASURES for fun facts about seals and mystery adventure games for children and adults of all ages at local parks.
      • For the most recent updates or to comment about this program, please visit our BLOG
      • To help this program by signing the petition and/or donation, please click: DONATIONS & PETITION
      • For more information regarding this program and how funds will be allocated, please click: HARBOR SEALS & TRAILS

      Wednesday, March 21, 2012

      Day 488 continued: Palm Springs Museum Trail

      Overlooking Palm Springs from the Museum Trail

      Day #488 * Hike #550 * New Track #489
      Saturday March 17, 2012
      Museum Trail - Palm Springs, California

      My Tripometer: 1 Hour * 1.5 Miles * +700 Feet


       Drive past this museum entrance...

      Directions:
      The Palm Springs Art Museum is located at 101 North Museum Drive in Palm Springs, CA 92262.  I don't remember how exactly we got here because we were coming from the hospital.  In the rain, Day 488 continues...

       Pull into the second parking lot and walk to the back...

       The Trail starts here

       Follow the rocky switchback trail up and up

       Looking back over the golf course

       Cool Rock Formations

      Step up into the clouds...

      The trail is said to go about 1 mile back +900 feet.  We went about 3/4's of a mile and then it got pretty steep.  I was all set to go higher but Ayden complained.  The trail condition wasn't bad, especially since it was drizzling and their were a few steep steps.  Traction wasn't an issue but the mood of Alyssa in the ER was.  This trail is located in the middle of town, only about a mile from the hospital...


      Day #488 * Hike #551 * New Track #490
      Saturday March 17, 2012
      Downtown Palm Springs, California

      My Tripometer: 3 Hours * 2.5 Miles * +25 Feet



      From the museum, we drove a mile down the road and found the Downtown Strip.  Ayden and I parade through the streets in search for food, gifts for Alyssa and of course, Green Beer.  It surely didn't seem festive today and I can't believe how dead it was here.  The bars were mostly empty.  Maybe it was the rain keeping people away but if this were Cleveland, the ground would be shaking...




      After eating at Peabody's, we drove back to the hospital to deliver Jess some hot cocoa and Alyssa the gifts that we picked out.  She was doing well and in great spirits because the Vipers beat Quartz Hill.  However, because the ER was sooo busy, the delay was annoying.  Ayden couldn't go into the waiting from and since it was going to take a few more hours, I decided to take Ayden back downtown to explore the remaining part that we hadn't covered yet...



      ***We finally left the hospital at 10pm.  They put Alyssa to sleep in effort to set her arm but the ER failed!  She was given pain meds and they told us to go to our Doctor on Monday to have her arm set properly.  The saga continues and as of this moment, her bones are beginning to fuse and her arm still is not set!  She saw the Dr. on Monday and after he took x-rays, he told his secretary to clear his schedule for an emergency procedure.  Then, when he learned what kind of insurance we had, he said he couldn't help us!!  He referred us to someone else who works part time in Santa Barbara and part time in Ventura.  When this Dr. found out what was happening, he said rush her to Santa Barbara so he could perform the surgery.  However, he then learned about our insurance and said that he could see her on Friday, make an appointment.

      Basically, Monday was completely wasted.  No one would help.  On Tuesday Jess had an afternoon appointment with someone else, but fortunately she came in early and was seen.  This Dr. said that he will operate on her Friday morning.  It sucks that it takes 6 days to do something that Kobe Bryant would have had done same day, but at least finally Alyssa has something to look forward to; healing!  Gotta Love the American Medical Obama Health Program.  I guess this is my fault for having cheap insurance - WTF!  I don't even have insurance for myself, good thing the kids are covered with something!

      Tuesday, March 20, 2012

      Day 488: The State Cup in Palm Springs

      Luck of the Irish on St. Patricks Day

      Day #488 Hike #549 * New Track #488
      Saturday March 17, 2012
      Soccer Fields at James Workman Middle School - Cathedral City, California

      My Tripometer: 7 hours * 3 Miles * +50 Feet

       Snow dusting over the range above Palm Springs

      Directions:
      From the 10 Freeway, head out to the desert past Palm Springs and take exit number 126 Date Palm Drive.  Turn right for about a mile and a half and then turn left on 30th Ave.  About a half mile down the soccer fields will be on the left.

       Alyssa chests the ball in the first game - Jordan like airtime :)

      Welcome to the State Cup for the AYSO Extra U-11 Division.  The Ventura Mighty Vipers went 18-2-1 for the season and playoffs and beat Quartz Hill in the League Championship Game to earn their right to enter this prestigious tournament of four; The Final Four!  Coach Matt tallied 55 Goals and double digit assists for the 21 game season.  Unbelievable!  Averaging nearly a Hat Trick a game!!!

      In their first game, the Vipers took on a stubborn Laguna Hills squad.  It was a pretty even battle but with same nice saves from Aalyiah, our goalie, the Vipers shut out Laguna Hills 2-0.  Alyssa earned an assist to Sofia for the second and clinching goal.  The mood was set by Meagan, our shortest girl, in the first quarter when she struck the ball to score her first goal of the year (she may have had one many months ago).  Meagan plays tough for being so short.  She is well skilled with the ball it is was no surprise that she scored.

       Hiking in the sands beyond the fields

      After the game, the other Semi Final game took place.  Quartz Hill won the Wildcard and faced off against Mission Viejo.  This was a grueling match up and we watched every moment of the action.  At the end of regulation, the game was tied 1-1.  They then played two 7-minute overtime periods but there was no change in the score.  Finally, the game went to a Shoot Out and Quartz Hill prevailed by blocking some key shots and hitting theirs.  Thus, the stage is set: Quartz Hill with a nearly flawless record of 21-1 (the one loss to the Vipers) will seek vengeance against Ventura in the final State Championship Game!

      There would be a multi hour delay between games so I took the opportunity to explore the open space.  The sand beyond the fields was thick, thus hiking was not much fun.  The weather was perfect but you could tell that the "deadly" winter storm was quickly approaching.  We drove through and beat out the rains at 4am when we left Ventura.  Finally, when the whistle blew, the rain began...

       Vipers versus Quartz Hill - Before the game

      The Vipers first played Quartz Hill a year ago during the Palm Springs Tournament.  That day, the winds were steady at 30mph and gusts reached 60mph.  It was a crazy cold sideways rain.  With temperatures hovering just above 30 degrees, the Vipers lost this match up and ended up placing 3rd in the tournament.  They played approximately 10 tournaments last year before the Extra Season began and the Vipers won more than half and only finished 3rd once and never finished worse than 4th, and that game went to Shoot Outs.

      Quartz Hill stunned the Vipers in the regular season and went undefeated for the entire year.  All year we have been building and waiting for a chance to rematch in the Championship Game.  This was last month and Alyssa scored 2 goals and sucked the will out of Quartz Hill.  Vipers won 2-0.  But now, Quartz Hill wants to set the record right.

      In the first quarter, the rain started coming down and the temperature dropped.  Quartz Hill took the early lead.  The girls were playing so hard but Quartz Hill seemed to have the edge.  On a broken play, Alyssa raced to the ball and met Quartz Hill's tallest player.  At full speed, the struck the ball at the same time.  The thump could be heard like a thunder echo.  Alyssa lost her footing and fell back.  The hard ground had no give way and Alyssa came down on hand with her arm stretched fully back.  She immediately bounced up but right then we all knew.  She screamed, "my arm!"  Her arm was completely broken and mangled.  Her hand and forearm were hanging at a 90 degree angle midway down from her elbow.  I will never forget the site of that.  I have it on video but I do not know if I'm ever going to make the video.  I need time for this.  Feeling so helpless, my little girl never realized that she could be injured.  She played with so much courage, heart and will.  She always gave it her all and it all snapped in front of my eyes.


      Fortunately, we have doctors and nurses on our team.  Dr. Ira helped support the arm by making a splint using an old shin guard.  The paramedics finally came and took her away.  Just before we left, they resumed play.  The girls were all crying and coach wanted the game stopped, but they fought on.  Sofia took matters into her own hands and proved her toughness by scoring a huge goal to even up the score.  Play continued and Hailey had a chance to take the lead.  She went for the ball but her cleat nailed the Quartz Hill goalie in the face.  Finally, the first quarter ended in a 1-1 tie and I was on my way to the hospital.


      About a half hour after we arrived, the Quartz Hill Goalie showed up at the hospital with a concussion.  Proof of just how brutal this game was.  This was no disadvantage for Quartz Hill because they had another Goalie who they would have used anyway for the rest of the game including shoot outs.

      From the hospital, we received updates on the game and the drama continued into overtime.  The rain was coming down harder and the Vipers played their best defense ever.  No one could score, but then the game went to a shoot out.  We all feared this scenario because we have all seen how good Quartz Hill's star goalie was.  She could jump and block shots that would otherwise go in high.  The only and best chance to score is to kick low and angled in the corner.  You just hope she doesn't guess right.

      Miraculously, all the Viper Players scored and Quartz Hill missed some shots, made a couple too, but Hailey batted a key ball away to help propel the Vipers to the win.  The Mighty Vipers Win.  They Win!  Unbelievable...

      But the thrill for us was subsided due to Alyssa.  It was St. Pattys Day and the waiting room and ER were overfilled.  Two kids next to Alyssa ages 6 and 10 were in a car accident.  One of them was on life support and the mom was rushed to another hospital.  The family was there and an unfortunate decision had to be made.  There was another guy with a knife stuck in his eye, and the drama continued.  Alyssa's attention kept getting pushed back.  Finally, after 7 hours, they put her to sleep and tried to reset her arm.  They couldn't do it though.  The Dr's exclaimed that they didn't have the right tools for kids so they did the best that they could.  We left the hospital at about 10pm with a girl who was still all mangled up.

      If you are ever in Palm Springs and need to go to the hospital, if the ambulance driver says he's taking you to Desert Community, word of advise, say take me somewhere else!  This story will be continued, and still will the day.  Believe it or not, I stretched in a couple of hikes in the rain while Alyssa was in the ER.  Ayden was not allowed in the ER area so I couldn't very well keep him in a waiting room for 10 hours...

      Monday, March 19, 2012

      Days 483 - 487: A week of being sick hiking the duplicates...

      Day #483 Hike #544 * Duplicate Track
      Sunday March 11, 2012
      Thille Park, Anacapa Fields, Kimball Park, Camino Real Park - Ventura, California

      My Tripometer: All Day * 2 Miles * +50 Feet

      Alyssa doing her Science experiment at Thille Park

      After the morning soccer game for Ayden at Anacapa, Alyssa and I searched for the perfect place to conduct our experiment.  We probed the local parks; Kimball and Camino Real and then finally settled in on Thille Park.  First, we jogged around the outer sidewalk (fitness trail) to warm up for the kicks.  We filled up one ball with air and the other with Helium.  Her science project  is to compare how the two balls and determine if they would react differently.  Our results we somewhat interesting; not what we expected, which makes this experiment even more impressive.  Once we finalize the results, I will post them on this blog...

      I was feeling very strange during the day and by early evening I realized that I was quite sick.  A fever crept upon me and the cold chills took over my body.  Sleeping that night was horrible...


      Day #484 Hike #545 * Duplicate Track
      Monday March 12, 2012
      Poinsettia School- Ventura, California

      My Tripometer: 30 minutes * 1 Miles * +25 Feet

      I called off work; something I never do.  I'm a die hard workaholic and very rarely do I feel at ease to skip out.  However, I was very sick.  The buzzing in my head would not stop ringing.  My temperature overnight was around 102.  The pain in my head was unbearable.  I had some chest and sinus issues but when I woke up in a puddle of sweat I determined that I could not work.  Alyssa and Ayden were also under the weather but by 9:00, Jess deemed Ayden school ready.  I took him to Poinsettia, walked around the campus and stretched it to a mile after dropping him off.  I wasn't in the mood to hike but thought that maybe I could kick this thing and still make it into work later.  ---Nah... never happened!


      Day #485 Hike #546 * Duplicate Track
      Tuesday March 13, 2012
      Above Arroyo Verde- Ventura, California

      My Tripometer: 30 minutes * 1 Mile * +200 Feet

      I was drenched by 7am this morning.  Last night I thought I was seriously dying.  The fever hit 104.  Sweat dripped in my ear and I felt like I was under water.  The chills were the worst part.  You bundle up because you feel so could but in reality you have an insane fever.  I only got up to go pee and when I did that, I could not stop shaking.

      Miraculously, I decided to go to work anyway.  I showed up by 11:30am and stuck around till 4pm.  I came home, felt horrible but I still ate like a champ.  I then walked the dogs on the upper trails in the early evening.  Thanks to Daylight Savings Time, there was enough light to see around the uneven concrete trail.  I hate doing these duplicate hikes but at least I got one in and I am still barely above par for the goal.


      Day #486 Hike #547 * Duplicate Track
      Wednesday March 14, 2012
      Above Arroyo Verde- Ventura, California

      My Tripometer: 30 minutes * 1 Mile * +200 Feet

      I don't remember Wednesday at all.  I usually remember everything - even when I'm drunk.  I don't black out, I just always know what's going on, except today.  I do know that at night I mirrored my walk from night before but other than that, I couldn't tell you.  I come to find out that nearly half if not more than half of my department came down with the similar sickness.  It spread like a plague, insane!  I felt insane on Wednesday.  I suppose I remember feeling silly, like I had laughing gas or something.  However, I didn't take any medicine.  The fever was gone and the sweats were minimal.  The cough was there but the head was dizzy.  Not a bad dizzy thought, more like I was tripping acid or something.  Very peculiar?!


      Day #487 Hike #548 * Duplicate Track
      Thursday March 15, 2012
      Above Arroyo Verde- Ventura, California
      My Tripometer: 30 minutes * 1 Mile * +200 Feet

      Where am I, who am I?  I was still all the bit out of it.  My son had a play at the school and I attended it.  Earlier in that day Alyssa ran her Jogathon and there was a school picnic.  I missed those events because I was working.  I was still very dizzy and for my hike I walked along the familiar upper easy Arroyo Verde Trail to complete the minimal mile.  I am now concerned because I have gone through all the duplicate days that I could without passing go.  I will need to do some serious hiking in the future to make up for this lag...


      Day #487 Hike #548 * Duplicate Track
      Friday March 16, 2012
      Poinsettia School - Ventura, California

      My Tripometer: 1.5 hours * 1.25 Miles * +50 Feet

      Feeling quite a bit better, I hung out with Ayden at his school.  We hiked around the place at a brisk pace and it easily winded me.  From there, we played a short game of basketball and some other playground games that he taught me and cheated on.  It was a good day and we called it an early night for the Palm Springs Adventure that would take place tomorrow...

      Friday, March 16, 2012

      Day 482: Calavera Lake (near San Diego)

      Calavera Lake

      Day #482 Hike #543 * New Track #487
      Saturday March 10, 2012
      Calavera Lake - Carlsbad, California

      My Tripometer: 1 Hour * 3 Miles * +225 Feet
       Trailhead off Saddle Drive

      Directions:
      From Los Angeles take the I-5 south toward San Diego.  Exit on Route 78 and head East.  (You will pass Route 74 & 76 before you finally reach 78 so don't mess this up.  This exit will also take you to the San Diego Safari Park).  From the 78, take the 2rd exit and turn right on College Blvd.  Head up the hill and pass Tamarack Ave.  Turn left on the 2nd crossing of Tamarack Ave.  Turn right on Saddle Drive and you will see the trailhead on the left.

      This is not the main trailhead.  In fact, you can see the lake if you continue down Tamarack and there is a main trail from there.  There are also many other trails and parking areas on the other side of the lake.  I went from here today because my wife and I had business on this street today.  If this business venture pans out, I will write more about it.  But for now, its a hike!

       The Region
      From the Saddle Trailhead, follow the downhill to a main trail and turn right

       Small creek in the road - turn left at the junction ahead

       many options, i remained on the low road

       leads to a lake viewpoint

       Calavera Lake from above

      From here there are many ways you can go.  I zigzagged around and ended up rounding the lake.  There was a guy in a small boat paddling around and many people biking, hiking and walking dogs.

       Looking back - time to leave...

      This was a great place to jog.  The temperature was perfect and I took the shirt off to attract some sun, no bees :).  The business meeting went well and then it was a rush to head back to LA...

      Ventura Mighty Vipers marching at the LA Galaxy Game!

      ***This was last Saturday night.  Tomorrow (Saturday the 17th, St. Patty's Day, Alyssa and the Vipers will be in Palm Springs to fight for the State Championship.  There is a weather system coming through which should make for a muddy mess.  The forecast said, and I quote, "...deadly for hikers and campers".  I have a hike planned between games so I hope the weather holds up just long enough where the wife will be on board.  I have to wake up at 4am, so good night and wish us luck!!!

      Ticker Symbol: UPST

      www.Usell.com

      Click the link above to sell your used cell phones or other electronic equipment.  The company is legit and they recently acquired Sergion Zyman to their marketing force.  Who's Sergio Zyman you ask?  He is the guy who blundered the New Coke campaign.  However, prior to his marketing mistake, he did amazing work with Pepsi which prompted Coke to buy him out.  He did great with the Diet Coke ads in the early 80's and most recently sold a firm he started for $60 million.  He chose to help out with UPST and now he is a director.

      I bought 200,000 shares at 0.005 and today the stock traded as high as 0.028.  It closed at 0.016 and I believe that there is much more room to run.  I did some business with these guys about six months ago and know that it's a legit business.  All the info I'm disclosing on this post is public record.

      Check the financial boards for UPST    Good Luck with your decisions :)


      Day #480 Hike #541 * New Track #486
      Thursday March 8, 2012
      Teague Park - Santa Paula, California

      Ebell Park
      My Tripometer: 1.5 Hours * 1.5 Miles * +25 Feet

      It was a visit to Santa Paula.  At Teague Park the kids went on the "crazy swings".  The park was overcrowded with soccer players and homies.  We didn't seem to mind because the kids had a great time.  We then went a mile or so down the road and walked through the small Ebell Park.  We were buying time for our movie at the cheap Santa Paula theaters...


      Day #481 Hike #542 * Duplicate Track
      Friday March 9, 2012
      Arroyo Verde Park - Ventura, California

      My Tripometer: 1.5 Hours * 3.5 Miles * +425 Feet

      It was a good run through the hills with Sammi.  I won't take Ziggy on these long hikes.

      Wednesday, March 14, 2012

      Day 479: Happy Valley Loop - Rancho Conejo Open Space - 400 Year Old Oak

      Abandoned Car, first seen on Day 81: Rancho Conejo Open Space
      (Looks like someone gave it a car wash since then)

      Day #479 Hike #540 * New Track #485Wednesday March 7, 2012
      Happy Valley Loop - Newbury Park, California

      Rancho Conejo Open Space
      400 Year Old Oak
      My Tripometer: 1 Hour * 3.75 Miles * +575 Feet

      Trailhead: "Gateway to the Arroyo" Rancho Conejo Map

      Directions:
      From the 101 Freeway in Newbury Park exit on Ranch Conejo and drive past Amgen.  Drive toward the end of Rancho Conejo and turn left on Conejo Center Road.  Drive about 500 feet and look for this opening on the right.  Park your car and begin the journey.  Follow the road down hill for a couple hundred feet...



      At the bottom of the hill you will reach this intersection as seen in the pic above.  Looking back at the split: The Abandoned Car Trail traverses to the left through the lower forest; The Achilles Heel Trail climbs insanely toward Racnsho Conejo Road; and The Gateway to the Arroyo Conejo Trail is what I came down and walks up the picture to the upper right.

      The Rancho Conejo Open Space was once an area that I vigourously explored.  I also got somewhat lost in the process and I made a map of this area to help eliminate the guessing.  About a year ago I published an incomplete map and today I will be looping the Happy Valley area.  --I will tell you that I hiked back in this area since then and did not add to the map but today's adventure will be another new one for the records. 

      At the bottom of the hill from the Trailhead I noticed that things were changed.  Before, there was a fence covering the Abandoned Car Trail.  Today, there was no fence and the trail was clear as day to see.  I remained on the main road and did not recall seeing the next part of the Achilles Heel Trail which should have been on the left.  Also, before there was a cut through option that went straight as an option to cut the switchback in the road.  It was obvious that some construction crews built a retaining wall to block this route.  So, continue following the main road up and around.  It's a bit of a climb...


       Happy Valley Junction, turn right

       Cutting across the green grassy route

       Found another abandoned car in the thick off the road


      Looking across; you can tell from here where the Arroyo Conejo truly begins.  The canyon between the open valleys identifies the Abandoned Car Trail which follows the creek.  This is truly a remarkable area and most people don't know about this little secret.  There are many single track possibilities that spur off the main trails but I remained on the road.

       Wildwood Park and Lizard Peak rises above to the left

       At this fork, I cut right in effort to loop it

       Another hidden paradise lives below

       The road heads lower to Hill Canyon Water Treatment Plant

       I cut right down this steep hill

       Turned right at the bottom to follow the floor

       Some old oaks trees

       From here, turn left off the main road to follow the single track
      (This is the 400 Year Old Oak Tree Trail)

      I think this is the same tree from Day 205: 400 Year Old Oak Tree
      -Different angle and season, but same old oak...


      Cross the creek and rejoin the Abandoned Car trail: Turn right

      The abandoned car will be up nearly immediately on your right.  If you follow the trail to the left you can loop back toward Baxter but knowing where I was, I followed the creek to the end and looped back to my car.  The trail was in great condition all the way through.  I jogged most of it with exception of the nasty uphills.  I honestly cannot wait to visit this area again...

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