Monday, May 6, 2013

Day 899: Backbone Trail - Mulholland to Etz Melroy Motorway

The Fire Behind the Mountain

Day #899 * Hike #1131 * New Track #880
Backbone Trail - Mulholland to Etz Melroy Motorway - Malibu, CA

Camarillo Springs Fire
Friday May 3, 2013
My Tripometer: 2.5 Hours * 8 Miles * +1300 Feet


Follow the driving directions from Day 73: Backbone Trail Mulholland to Encinal.  Today's trailhead is on the opposite side of the street.  Wow, Day 73 was so long ago!  I remember it well.  This is where I saw the biggest rattler in my life, up close and personal.  Thankfully, no rattlers today!

We were evacuated from work today because the winds had shifted and the smoke was intolerable.  So, I took the opportunity to find a way to hike into the fire.  My goal was to trek to the highest point, Sandstone Peak, but the road was blocked off by cops.  Forced to take a U-Turn, I decided to take the long way in...

 It's a slow long climb to the top

It's the Backbone Trail so naturally, it's well traveled and in very good condition.  The trail itself was fairly easy, good grip but long and hot.  Minimal shade covers you as you round up and up and up.  It's a slow climb, not difficult and without drastic switchbacks.  They are more like S-Curvebacks...

 Hmm, okay...

 2.5 miles to Etz Melroy Motorway

This took me about 45 minutes.  I wasn't jogging but I was pacing very quick.  My adrenaline was pumping in hopes that I would be entering the fire zone over the summit.  Turn left on the road and keep heading higher...

 Ocean Views

 The road turns to the left, but first I climb the mound...

I came back down and continued further down the road...

 This is as close as I will get to the fire today

 I climbed up another mound...

Finally, I turned back and began my very long jog/walk back.  The Motorway had started heading lower and presumably, it would intersect Little Sycamore Road in about a half mile.  I would have completed this stretch but the Mayor of Port Hueneme was coming to Chill Out Frozen Yogurt tonight so I had to dart back.

 Back to the trailhead

There was no smoke in this area when I started but by the time I was through, smoke was present...


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