Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Day 275: Sunset Hills Trail / Wood Ranch Reservoir

Wood Ranch Reservoir

Day 275: Tuesday August 16, 2011
Sunset Hills Trail / Wood Ranch Reservoir
Distance: 4.5 miles +475 feet
Time: 1 Hour 
Sunset Hills Trailhead

From the 101 Freeway in Thousand Oaks, take the 23 Freeway North and exit at Sunset Hills.  Turn Right on Sunset Hills.  Turn left on Erbes.  Follow the road down around the long hill and then look for the trailhead on your right.

The trail begins with a soft switchback leading higher.  Easy climb and then you flatten out for a moment.  You will see the reservoir in under five minutes if your jogging.  There are other trail options but I stayed on the obvious one to the right.  A well traveled left fork would take you down to water level -- next time...

This route follows along the fence.  You have the option to then go lower to the right or turn left to continue around the reservoir. 

I continued a bit further and then turned around.  This route passes the the private gate at Sunset Hills and then turns towards the Wood Ranch section of Simi Valley.  In fact, it would be much faster to walk to Simi versus driving ALL the way around.  

I turned back and headed down the last fork that I had past a while back.  This quick route led me down a steep hill and cement drainage system to McCrea Rd.  Thus, you could park at the Cul-de-sac and begin here if you wanted, but the route is not as desirable.  Actually, the map indicates a legit trail just before the private gate at Sunset Hills.  This trail to the south will lead you past the Lang Ranch Area, Albertson Fire Road and all the way to China Flat & Simi Peak.  Of course, I've hiked all of these trails, but never from Sunset Hills -- next time...  (If you are interested in these trails, click on "search" in the upper right of this blog and type in the key words.   I usually do this for you and then attach the link, but I'm being lazy tonight :))
--Finally, I ran back along the streets to get back to my bike...

Day 271: Friday August 12, 2011
Balcom Canyon Road
Distance: 2.75 miles +350 feet
Time: 1 Hour++
Balcom Canyon

With a better camera, you would see the awesome Los Padres Range beyond.  In fact, you have a direct condor view of Dough Flat (Condor Sanctuary in the Sespe).  --Clear day, and beautiful!

When I lived in Santa Paula, I ofter took the back way home (Balcom Canyon), especially on Fridays.  There are no legit hiking trails back here, but the Canyon makes for a great ride with unexpected views.

 I said there were no "legit" trails

There was no "No Trespassing" sign, so I hopped the gate.  So, whats with it with brown, dead thistles that hurt like hell?  I mean, those sharp little poky points are so annoying.  Can't they just soften up with the brush??  I'm just getting over my poison sumac and these bristles are really scratchy!  I suppose I shouldn't be here, but I had to hike somewhere.  The trail is ok for a moment but then the thick overtakes.  Then you reach a fence and the hike becomes a nasty uphill climb after the tree oasis.  I stopped just beyond the trees and came back.  Forget about it!
 Another Gate :)
(This one leads to cows.  Moo....)

  A cool place to hike up...

Overall, a pretty chill day but I cannot recommend coming here because there are no public trails.  Sorry...

Day 272: Saturday August 13, 2011
Sunset with Domino
Distance: 3.75 miles +375 feet
Time: 2 Hours
First of all, Domino did not hike this distance.  During the day, I went to the Ice Skating rink with the family.  When we came home, I took Sammi for a jog up and above Arroyo Verde.  Because I did not go lower into the park, I once again battled the scratchy poky thistles.  At least this time I was prepared by wearing my torn up fatigues.  I once went this way and hiked all the way to Via Arroyo.  Today, Sammi and I danced around to the left and then finally dropped down to the upper trails to the park.  When I came home I noticed Domino wasn't doing too well.  So, I harnessed the leash around her stomach and patiently walked her up the hill.  Then, above the park from the Topa Topa gate, we sat on a blanket and watched the sunset.
This is real hard on me.  Everyday its like caring for an elderly person.  She cannot move without my assistance but she still eats like a champ.  Domi has been peeing and pooping on me while I move her but I can't be mad or fault her.  She really does try to hold it and sometimes she does, but when I lift her awkwardly, it just has to come out.  Sometimes she poops and then sits in it while she eats.
I'm doing everything I can and I know she appreciates it.  I gave her a bath today, and then she pooped on herself again!!!  Frustrating, but after 12 years together, you could not expect me to do less.  Hey, she still barks, wags her tail occasionally so she still has purpose!
Day 274: Monday August 15, 2011
Country Trail Park
Where: Morepark
Distance: 3.25 miles +275 feet
Time: 1 Hour
Off Tierra Rejada & Mountain Trail Road
 Nice scenery and jogging paths

 Running sewer water (groovy)

 Across the street
I wasn't sure where I was going today so I just started driving and ended up in Morepark.  I found the street Mountain Trail Road, so I took a chance.  I then found a park with the name "trail" in it.  Perfect!  The park was cool and as usual, no one was here?  What's wrong with you Californians!!!  Get off the couch and get outside!!!  ---IMHO, the coolest part of this place was the hill across the street.  I jumped the narrow drainage system and skyrocketed up the hill.  OPEN SPACE!!!  The area was just barely overgrown; totally doable.  I wandered around back here for a bit and felt satisfied...

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