Friday, July 22, 2011

Up to DAY 250: Fryman Canyon, Rainforest in Cali, CBS Studios, Snakes & More...

My First Television Award!!!

Day 250: Friday July 22, 2011
Fryman Canyon, Rainforest in Studio City & on the set at CBS Studios!
4.25 miles +400 feet

Directions to Fryman Canyon:
From the 101 freeway, exit on Laurel Canyon and head south for about 3 miles.  Turn right on Mulholland drive and about 3/4's of a mile down on the right will be the parking lot.  Park, admire the views and then begin to hike.  The trailhead is to the right of the parking lot and the switchback trail will lead you lower by a couple of hundred feet.  You will intersect a junction along the way with a sign stating "trail ends 0.7 miles".  Rather than going straight on that trail, continue lower.  The trail is mostly shaded, which is great because it's July!

 Dips over a small water crossing

 Ayden asked, how did this car get here?  --I don't know??

 Very chill trail...

 Rainforest???  We'll go left and see what this is about...

 Final overlook before the ?rainforest?

 Entering the rainforest in the otherwise dry California land..
 Dare you to swing across, we didn't

 This is a rainforest!

 Falling trees...

my wife!

***We ventured out a bit further but due to time constraints (Friday traffic and evening plans), we turned back shortly after this section.  The rainforest appeared to end and we had to get back.  The total hike from Mulholland was about a three mile loop.  So, why was I in Studio city on a Friday afternoon anyway???

Earlier that day:
 At CBS Studios in Studio City; Jess, Ayden and I on another set...

From the parking garage, crossing the L.A. River

Building R: (our set was in the back in Studio 4)

 Ayden's personal Trailer!

 I'm in the chair getting makeup applied before the show

The show, in between commercials, I'm on the stage...
 What show???  --Well, can't tell you.  Why???  --- It's a pilot.  This was not our first pilot.  Jess and I have done several.  You may have heard of the show "The Marriage Ref", by Jerry Seinfeld.  We taped a full day segment to help this show get picked up by NBC.  That said, with Jerry Seinfeld's name on the show, any Tom, Dick and Harry could have pulled it off...

I know I signed some paperwork today so I am probably under some sort or privacy clause.  Thus, I am not going to tell you the name of the show that we were taping for.  However, I will tell you that the guy from Survivor, yes, SURVIVOR, is the host of this show.  I'm not going to tell you which guy, but when the show gets picked up in later 2012, please know that Jess and I along with a couple of other couples filled the role in the pilot to help get this picked up.  I have no doubt that a major network will sign this show.  **In my spotlight picture for this blogpost, I am sharing the trophy that we won for participating.  In total, Jess and I have done about 10 different filmings and although we don't get paid much, the experience has been great.  Hmm, wait a minute!  I've taken home nearly $5k in cash and won trips to New Zealand and Hawaii. ---Oh, by the way, my New Zealand trip is scheduled for December, not September...


Day 248: Wednesday July 20, 2011
Top of Ventu Park, and then some...
3.5 miles +650 feet
1.5 Hours
You just never know what you are going to see when you set out for a hike...    

From the 101 in Newbury Park, exit on Ventu Park Rd and drive south towards Lynn.  Follow the road to the very top of the hill and park before it becomes a dirt road:

Great, no trespassing!  I wasn't sure what I was going to do today and I had always been curious as to what sits above Ventu Park.  I assumed there was a trail because I remember passing a fire road when I hiked the Los Robles in this area.  Come to find out, the fire road is private property.  Or is it???

This road is narrow and finding a fair place to park is difficult.  I did not want to violate the sign entirely so I did drive back.  Not far down the hill I discovered a house for sale.  Hmmm...  I am always looking at real estate and to my astonishment, this 2500 sq ft home with 3 bedrooms and 3.5 baths was only going for $659k.  That's about the same appraisal as my house so I must be in the right neighborhood.  No better way to determine if this hood is appropriate for my family than exploring the neighborhood.  Reasonable, right?

So, beyond the sign I marched up the road and continued higher onto the dirt road.  Along the way, I saw two military helicopters at a lower elevation than mine, but my camera phone did not clear the image.  Yet, great views of Newbury Park and the Conejo Grade:

I continued about a quarter mile total to the top and then reached a gate and this sign:

 Turn around point
What a drag.  I'm not going any further!  However, I dressed for a workout and I wasn't going to let this stop me.  I decided to turn around, jog down Ventu, pass my car and then continue down McKnight.  About a mile later, and many hundred of feet, I turned right on Hemlock.  This short street ended with this house on the right:      Day: 99

 Cool, my son will love this house!

A trailhead???

Yes, a new trail, but not really; I hiked this area on Day: 99
This is Lynnoaks Park and the Spring Canyon Trail.  To the left of this trailhead is a trail leading lower to a dirt track.  I came back to this course on some odd ball day awhile back.  Thus, no reason to run in a circle again but I did charge up the dirt path to reach the other side of the park.  Now that I got that out of my way, I have to jog the streets again up the hills back to my car.  Along the way I see:


Really, in the road.  I don't see this on the trail but right in the middle of the road,  Where am I, Texas?  Well, as long as it doesn't have a crazy rattler, I have no fear.  I've seen so many snakes now so its really no big deal.  Even after one went up my leg after I stepped on it.  I just wish I knew what kind of snake this was.  Is it poisonous?  I came about a foot from its head and it was moving quickly.  I think I was out of it's strike range?  I'm a pretty quick guy --brave -- stupid...  It's all good!

Day 249: Thursday July 21, 2011
Warring Park - Piru
3.5 miles  +100feet

**Strange day.  I wasn't sure what I was going to do.  I drove home first, fed the dogs and then took off down the 126.  Before I knew it, I wandered into Piru; nearly 40 minutes away.  Only about 10 minutes from the lake, I stopped at some small park, known as Warring Park.  Honestly, it was dreadful.  The temperature in the early evening still felt like 90 and the land was baron.  The main attraction was the railroad tracks and the rusty old playground.  Why live here?  --I get it, the place is great to hike out at the lake, go camping, whatever, but the city itself is hot, dreadful and in the middle of nowhere -- Well, not really.  Valencia is booming.  There are all sorts of office buildings and opportunities less than 20 minutes from Piru.  I suppose it makes sense to get a good job, live here cheap, and save up so you can live like me in Ventura... yeah... ok...

So look, I wandered out of the park, of course, and found a river.  Water was flowing, slowly, out to the Santa Clara.  Similar to the Sespe in Filmore but not as much development around.  You know, I found a chill place to jog along a river and a sorry park for an hour.  It was a good day...


  1. Day 248? Yes, that's another rattlesnake. You can see the smallish rattle on the tail tip. They tend to break off when they get long, so the length of the rattle is not a reliable indicator of age.

    Also, you can see that the head is substantially wider than the neck. That's another tell-tale sign of rattlesnake-ness.

    Be careful out there!

  2. Thanks for your info on the snake. I thought it might have been a rattler but after seeing that huge one on the backbone trail, these smaller snakes don't seem as frightening. That said, this guy was still pretty thick and slithered with some authority. Dude, I hate snakes. They blend in and I like to jog the trails. You don't know how many times I jump in the air in mid stride thinking that I saw or heared a snake!

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