It ‘s seems like I haven’t been hiking in a long, long time. That’s probably because it’s true. I really needed to get outside today, so today was the day for a hike.
I spent about an hour caching in Santa Monica while my mom was at a doctor’s appointment. After I took her home, I decided to return to Simi Valley by way of the Pacific Coast Highway and Topanga Canyon. I parked near the locked gate of the Dead Horse parking lot and started hiking toward Trippet Ranch.
My goal was to pick up some of the caches that have been placed along the Backbone Trail since my last visit. I was a little concerned with the condition of the trail on my was to Dead Horse Bridge. The recent rains had turned the trail in many places to wet, slippery clay. The farther I went along the trail, the better the conditions, so I kept going.
Dead Horse Bridge was a quick find and it was on to BIG BURL. The cache is hidden under a very nice stand of manzanita. I really like the dark red of manzanita bark. It really stands out in the usually drab colors of the chaparral.
APPROACHING TRIPPET was another quick find. The hint was a little off, but it got me to the general area. I really knew that I was approaching Trippet Ranch when I got close to Leaning Oaks. There must have been a large school group at the parking lot. A large, very noisy group of kids. Once I left the Dead Horse trail and headed toward Musch Meadow, the peaceful sounds of nature returned.
Four more caches were on my list: BACKBONE BRIDGE, Pink Bison, BACKBONE TRAIL BECAUSE ITS HERE, and Musch Trail. I didn’t have too much trouble with any of them until I got to Musch Trail. Don described it as an “easy” cache, but it really had me going in circles. Usually I don’t have too much of a problem with Don’s caches; he hides them where I would hide them. However, this one was moving from the “easy” category to a DNF very quickly. In fact, I logged a DNF for it, then looked one more time. Low and behold, there it was. Last cache of the hike and no DNFs.
I decided to return to my truck via the road instead of backtracking on the trail. With some luck, I might even get someone to give me a ride down the hill. Nope–I used up all my luck finding Musch Trail, I guess.
I was an enjoyable afternoon hike. The other time I hike the Dead Horse part of the trail, I felt like a dead horse and was just trying to get to the end. Today I was able to enjoy the walk.
Here is a view of the track: