Sunday, March 27, 2011

DAY 127 - 133: Hidden Treasures...

7 Different ways to run Arroyo Verde.  Sorry, no pictures or mileage stats.  I've been averaging 2.5 miles each day and + 400 Feet...  There are high trails, low trails, middle trails, off trails; and they're all behind my house.  I have gone each day with my family and we have gone a slightly different way each time.  The push to 1000 days in a row is going to be real hard and life is starting to catch up to me.  Saving the Seals is taking a lot of thought and energy; and so on with family.

***I am hiding treasures out on the trails, which will be used for another idea.  Don't try to look for them yet.  They are off the beaten path and the clues hidden will be used for a bigger adventure that I will announce later next month.  Stay tuned...

Monday, March 21, 2011


Between Los Angeles & Palmdale, exit the 14 at Aqua Dulce and drive 2.5 miles to Valasquez Rocks:
Small Geology Trail at the front of the park
Awesome Rock Formations
This area has been used for many Hollywood Movies

Including Star Trek


**This was my first ever sign of the PCT Trail, (the 2600+ mile hiking route from Mexico to Canada).  Every avid hiker dreams to complete this trail.  However, I didn't even step foot on it!  The soccer tournament was a disaster of sorts, but the girls did manage a 3rd place trophy!  The rain was wicked, sideways and cold!   
I bribed the family to visit this spot but the short Geology Trail was the only hiking truly accomplished.  This part of the PCT is the closest to my house and it is also the closest the trail ever comes to the Pacific Ocean (about 60 miles).  **I hiked about 1.5 miles and + 50 feet eleavation total today.
**In the next few days, I nearly gave up the dream of hiking daily.  Many reasons contributed to this and I initially announced on Facebook that I was throwing in the towel.  However, before midnight that next night, I stormed out of the house and completed a walk around Arroyo Verde.  It was then I came up with an enhanced idea to keep me motivated.  Of course, the rules of finding new locations changed slightly to occasionally going back to the same location and altering the trail where I could.  **I am editing this post now on May 18th, 2011.  This was my turning point.  I still manage to find a way to classify a hike each day by stepping foot on at least some new soil, every single day, no matter what!  Even if I have to push through some thick shrubs where I shouldn't be.  I combine that with at least a mile of real trail and no need really for an addendum to my goal because I am accomplishing what I set out to do...


It was a cold, wintery, wind, wet, frigid day.  You get it, a horrible day for anything.  Alyssa had her 1st soccer tournament with the Vipers.  Before and between the games, I took the opportunity to explore:

The "Off Limit" Hills above the fields

The 2/3rd of a mile loop around the fields...

More Trails outside the Soccer fields


I hiked a good 5 miles this day.  I needed to keep moving otherwise I would have turned into a frozen IceCube.  I gained about +350 feet of total eleavation.

Sunday, March 20, 2011


Date: Friday March 18, 2011
Miles: 2.5 Miles
Elevation Gain: 50 Feet
Time: 1.5 Hours
Difficulty: Only if you go off trail; bring your kids & dogs!
Reward: Just being outside with my son for 124 days in a row!
Description: Walking along the sidewalk but trying desperately to reach the tree houses below!
Where: Ventura, CA
Directions: From the 101 in Ventura, exit on Main Street and drive west toward the Mall.  Turn right on Mills and turn right on Dean.  At the stop sign the street ends but Dean turns right.  Go that way and follow the street back around to the left.  You will see Camino Real Park about a quarter mile down on the right.  Turn in and for this hike, turn left by the tennis courts.  Just before exiting the park, park the car and begin hiking out of the park...

We tried to reach the tree houses but they were not accessible from the trail.  We did find a way to reach the ravine area, but it we couldn't switch back through the thick.  When I was done with the 1-mile in and out hike, I spent another mile plus retracing footsteps and took my son to the park.  My adventures in Camino Real are now complete.  Time to search for some new hiking grounds...

Day 123: Thursday the 17th, St. Patty's Day!  4.5 Miles +700 Feet {Behind Work}
No green beer, cabbage or corned beef this year.  On my lunch break, I hiked behind my work to complete the section of open space between McCloud & St. Charles Drive.  I did this once before and ended up by a tree.  This time I did not have a camera but I ended up at the National Park Headquarters; a place I drove to on day one to obtain free hiking maps that began all this madness.  Although I still have some trails remaining to complete on those maps, I've taken my adventures to the open space...

After work, I walked another 2+ miles with my family and dogs...

Friday, March 18, 2011


Date: Wednesday March 16, 2011
Miles: 2 Miles
Elevation Gain: 50 Feet
Time: 1.5 Hours
Difficulty: It's the beach...
Reward: Dolphins!
Description: Channel Islands Visitor Center, garden, waves & dolphins
Where: Ventura, CA
Directions: From the 101 in Ventura, exit on Seaward and turn left on Harbor.  About a mile up, turn right on Spinnaker and go all the way to the end.  Drive around the cul-de-sac and then start heading back.  Turn right in the very first parking lot.
 We spotted 8 dolphins in the harbor!
...a better camera would have been good today :(

 Garden outside the Channel Islands Visitor Center

 View from the Observation Tower

 Dodging Waves
Dangerous Rocks

The Beach

From the Visitor Center, there is a very calm beach which is great for little kids.  The break walls for the harbor allow for this.  Then, once clear the next break wall, the ocean comes alive!  Today especially; maybe it was a hangover from the tsunami the other day.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011


Date: Sunday March 13, 2011
Miles: 2.25
Elevation Gain: 100 Feet
Time: 1 Hour
Difficulty: Easy, until I twisted my ankle!
Reward: A beautiful day with an ocean background
Description: Beyond the baseball fields is a huge open space of land to wander and explore
Where: Malibu, CA
Directions: The corner of PCH and Malibu Canyon Road.  If you are coming from the 101, exit on Las Virgenes and take it all the way to the ocean.  Las Virgenes becomes Malibu Canyon Rd.

If you pull straight in from the PCH you'll see a little league baseball.  When I first moved to Cali, Jess and I stopped here and watched a few innings of a random game.  She told me it was the first time she had ever seen a live baseball game of any type.  It wasn't until my son was in T-Ball that she saw her next one.

To the right of the parking lot, you will see the Trailhead in the picture above.

...After nearly an hour of wandering around the open fields, I rolled my ankle during a mild trot!  Ouch!  I hobbled back to the picture directly above (the rear entrance of the park).  I met back up with my wife and kids at the playground.  The rubbery surface was painted in blue with a dolphin theme.  It was an exact replica of what I had envisioned for the Seal Playground that I hope to help design, build and donate to the Seal Sanctuary.  Let's be clear; a loud noisy playground would disturb the sanctuary but my plan was to build it near the trailhead off Bailard, which is about a half mile from the Seal viewpoint.  
***Day 120: Monday- Ventura College 1.5 Miles  +50 Feet
Ayden and I walked around the grassy green campus.  They redid the track several years ago and the public is no longer allowed on it.  My first ever three mile run was on the old dirt surface and I remember running the last quarter mile in a minute and 12 seconds.  I don't think I could run one lap that fast right now!

Today was about hanging out with Ayden and talking about nothing and everything at the same time.  I couldn't tell you what we discussed, but I assure you it was important lol :)...  We posted some seal flyers on the community board and then walked across the street for an ice cream treat.  I may have just encouraged my son to do good in school so he can attend a real University.  He thought that it was so cool that the college was a school (like his) and it was soooo big!  Hey, go Buckeyes!  The NCAA Tournament begins tomorrow and Ohio State is going to take it!

***Day 121: Tuesday- Ventura Harbor 1.75 Miles  +25 Feet
Another day with my son!!  We hiked around the harbor, up and down the docks, around the boats, along the promenade and to the carousel.  There is an old 1960's style arcade in the harbor with an indoor carousel.  The sad thing is, this place isn't trying to be throwback, it just hasn't been renovated and honestly, it's not that exciting.  However, it made my son happy so if you have kids, it's a must to stop by.  Unfortunately, I purposely didn't bring my wallet because I like the idea of the "free" activity.  Good quality time with my son consists of talking and walking.  As it is, it's extremely difficult to pull him away from the Playstation unless I bribe.  Today, no donations, just a walk and talk...
**Day 122---I have pictures and will update next!  Still doing it!  A new place each day!! 

Monday, March 14, 2011

HarborSeals Name Change

Most of you who follow this blog know that I am raising money to help protect the seals in Carpinteria.  In doing so, I've created a blog:

In effort to reach the next phase of this project, I am going to create a (.com) and/or a (.org).  I just posted a poll to the right ------------------

Please vote and/or reply to this message with suggestions.  Your input will help me decide the new website name.

Thanks :)

Saturday, March 12, 2011


Date: Saturday March 12, 2011
Miles: 3.25
Elevation Gain: 600 Feet
Time: 2 Hours
Difficulty: Easy, until you reach the Grotto.  Children under 7 will have to stop.  You are not supposed to bring your dogs beyond this point...
Reward: The Grotto; Cave & Waterfalls
Description: Hiking down on an easy trail past a couple of waterfalls.  Once you reach the Grotto, you will need body control to reach the cool spot.
Where: Malibu/Ventura County, CA
Directions: From Ventura, jump on the PCH out of Camarillo.  I usually take Rice Road.  Just before you reach Neptunes Net and the county Line, turn left on Yerba Buena Road.  Drive up the road for 5.5 miles and park at the Circle X Ranch on the right.
 The Grotto

From the parking lot at Circle X Ranch, Boney Mountain rises above:

From the parking lot, hike down the gravel road to the campgrounds.  The gravel is loose and my kids fell.  I slipped a couple times myself.  There was a car parked down here so it's drivable but I'm not sure you are supposed to.  after .25, the trail begins:

First Waterfall
When you finally get to the field, look back!

2nd Waterfall
Entering the difficult part
Time to repel
The Grotto
The water is freezing!  Only way to take this picture was to get in!
Beyond the Grotto, still cool but difficult to reach

The one exercise that I need to work on is Dips.  Relying on your triceps is essential for minor rock climbing.  Otherwise, you'll put too much pressure on your knees.  Honestly, I'm blowing this out of proportion.  You can be 50 pounds overweight and still be able to achieve the Grotto.  The trail was shaded and easy.  You are heading down nearly the entire time to the spot and then up to get out.  The up is not that difficult so bring your lunch and make a picnic out of it.

*****Rewind, Day 117: 2 Miles  + 125 Feet more door to door donation in Ventura.  No Park involved but the off road scenery brought me back the the thick I trekked on day 114.  This time I covered the area closest to foothill and then hiked the creek until I hit a 25 foot wall of earth. 

**Double rewind, a few pics of Day 112 in Ventura:




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