Wednesday, November 24, 2010


3.5 Miles  +800 Feet

10 Day Summary: 36.5 Miles  +7650 Feet

On the eve of Thanksgiving, the bosses told their employees that they could leave early.  Although I didn't have to leave, well, sure why not.  It was another cold day and starting at 3:15 vs. 3:45 didn't feel a whole lot different.  The trail I took is on the Los Robles Trail Map.  It also makes the insert on the Western Section of the trail, so I took two pictures.
Located in beautiful, and usually warm, Thousand Oaks, California; exit the 101 Freeway at Ventu Park and head south.  Turn right on Lynn and left on Regal Oak.  The actual trail begins right off of Lynn but it channels through the open space behind the houses and since there is no parking on Lynn, it made no sense to start down there.  Instead, drive to the end of Regal Oak and begin:
As soon as you pass the gate beyond the homes, the uphill climb begins; and never ends.  However, it was a very easy push for me.  The trail is in good condition and has a series of gentle switchbacks.  It's not very steep at all and from the amount of tire marks in the soft ground, it must be a mountain bike favorite.

Until this point, you are weaving up and over the city of Newbury Park.  The sounds of the streets are echoing consistent and the joys of kids and neighborhood dogs blend right in occasionally.  As soon as you make this turn, there is an immediate drone of silence.  The smell of sage from the brush filters through the chill air and then the racket of crickets replaces your thoughts.  The mood was perfect for this event; nearly nightfall, moist from the rains last weekend and protection from the canyon that you just entered.  The most amazing aspect of it all is noticing the etching of two trails layered along the hillside opposite the canyon.  You sense that at some point you and these trails will intersect and then sounds and sights of mountain bikers inspire hope, reassuring that you are not alone in this nowhere.

After 30 minutes of steady uphill, you achieved the summit.  You weren't the only one:

The Backside Valley looking toward Potrero Road

 The Lower Bench
 The quick switchback to the...
...Upper Bench (That's me waiving in the shadow)
Me sitting on the bench
And the Views: 
The 101 Grade in the upper Right
 A Trailer Park & The Conejo Valley
 Ok, heading down...
Back down at sunset.  Mission complete.  My sister just pulled up the driveway from Long Beach.  Before Thanksgiving Dinner tomorrow night, my mission is to convince her, my son and the hardest sell, my wife, to join me on Day 11 Thanksgiving Trail!

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