Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Day 467: Mt. McCoy - The Cross

The Cross

Day #467 Hike #528 * New Track #476
Friday February 24, 2012
Mt. McCoy Trail - The Cross - Simi Valley, California

My Tripometer: 1 Hour * 2.5 Miles * +600 Feet

From the 101 Freeway in Thousand Oaks, take the 23 Freeway North and exit on Olsen.  Turn right and follow Olsen for several miles as it becomes Madera Road.  You will enter the city of Simi Valley and then turn left on Royal (Traffic Light).  Make an immediate right on Alcapulco Ave and then an immediate left on Washburn.  At the curve where Washburn becomes Los Amigos, the trailhead will be on the left.  Park your car and begin...

 The Cross rises above the trail

 Confusing Intersection

From the trailhead you will walk follow a fence for about 40 yards toward the end of some other random street.  From here, the trail begins on the other side of the fence.  Within 25 feet you will reach this intersection.  Naturally, I choose straight.  I actually took the picture on my way back because going straight is wrong, unless you want an intense climbing workout.  Thus, turn left to take the easy, yet longer way up... 

 Going straight up!

Shortly after the intersection you will realize that there is no exact marked trail so I figured to point my direction toward the cross above.  If I recall, I took a right fork, then a left fork and then I begin questioning my ability because the grade was 45%.  Fortunately, the Cross does not sit very high above so the pursuit is definately doable.  That said, children should use the switchbacks by turning left at the very first intersection. 

Less than 20 minutes to the top!

 A Caterpillar with Wings

 Sinaloa Lake from Day 463
(Unlike that day, I can actually see the lake from here!)

 Views in all directions

 Alamos Canyon from Day 444

 Sit back and relax...

The History of the Cross: www.simitrailblazers.com/hikes/mtmccoy
I came across this in my normal daily activities in searching for trails to conquer.  A couple months ago I decided to begin hiking West Simi Valley and I really am starting to master the area.  This website has also given me more suggestions and maps for all of Simi Valley: www.simitrailblazers.com/hikes/index

This was Presidents Day week and I hiked twice right around the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library, which I have never been.  I should have honored this country by hiking there, but this Mt. McCoy hike was worth the visit.  In fact, from the top of Mt. McCoy, you can trek across the ridge and then back down to the library.  Unfortunately, I did not have that kind of time today.  - I shall return!

 Heading Down (the easy way)

You can pick up this trail right next to the first bench closest to the top.  It's actually a silly trail.  I say that because the grade going down is like 1% to 2% at most.  Way too easy.  However, there are many alternate ways to cut through the switchbacks.  I normally would not recommend going off trail like this, but these easy 5% to 10% grades are easy to find and walk on.  There are literally hundreds of possibilities to change up your course.  Like a chess game, there seem to be infinite ways to combination climb this trail.  I decided to keep it real and stay on the main trail the entire time.  Like I said, I felt silly because I would walk a couple hundred feet, switchback and then walk back and only be lower by 10 feet.  Meanwhile, I could have just taken a quick cut to cheat the steps.  It's really your choice, but all trails lead to the same spot...

 Sending a Peace Out to the Cross

 The silly switchbacks

Cactus Field near the end


Day #466 Hike #527 * New Track #475
Thursday February 23, 2012
Just Beyond Pleasant Valley Fields - Camarillo, California

My Tripometer: 3 Hours * 2 Miles * +25 Feet

 Ayden vs. Alyssa

 Last chance to hike this field...

Trail across the field

Today was set to be a duplicate hike while Alyssa had soccer practice but I find a way to make it somewhat interesting.  Really, no big deal.  Ayden and I took the half mile trek across new soil and then rounded the mile track at Pleasant Valley Fields.  We danced around to extend this into a two mile journey and then rejoined Alyssa at soccer practice.  I was a shagger.

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