I’ve been thinking about doing some Backbone Trail hiking for a while, but OLdweeb‘s recent efforts to go BBT cache collecting inspired me to get out of the house and on the trail.
I started the day at the trailhead near Hondo Trailhead and then hiked east to get Lucky 13 and No P O. I then returned to the trailhead and headed west for four more caches.
I found BACKBONE OAK, NOT, U Rock!, and YIPPEE WHIPPLEI and DNFed Powder Horn Ranch. Unfortunately, I may have gotten into the poison oak while looking for Powder Horn Ranch. That’s not the kind of Find I like to make.
I made a U-turn at U Rock!. The plan was to hike up the hill to U Rock!, then return to my truck, drive up the road to the top of the trail and then hike down the trail for a few more caches.
While hiking back down the hill, I passed two women hiking up the hill. More on that later.
One of the good parts of hiking this trail today were the number of flowering plants. It hasn’t looked this good in a long time. And the poison oak was also looking very healthy. Hopefully, the TecNu did its trick today.
I drove up the hill to the trailhead located a few feet from Guardian Toad – Cecil, got the cache, then started hiking down into the canyon. Of course, every step down the hill meant a step up the hill later in the day. And later in the day usually means hotter in the day. Today, it was.
About 10 or 15 minutes down the trail, I met up with the 2 women that I passed on the lower part of the trail. I said, “Good Morning!,” and they said, “Hey, didn’t we pass you already today? How did you get here?” I explained my hiking plan and said my good-byes. They laughed a bit, probably wondering why I would be hiking in and out on both ends of the trail.
The Hondo Canyon trail is usually lined with heavy vegetation, but occasionally there are some nice views of the area.
On the way down, I found HONDO GRASS, the site of an old marijuana farm, and Over Logging. Farther down the trail, I got a DNF on Mossy Rocks. That was my turn around point. I really hate it when the farthest cache on the turns out to be a DNF. Bill (BWidget) also DNFed about a month ago. I really checked out the site for the cache. I found a couple of good hiding places, but no cache. I’m pretty sure that it’s MIA.
On the way out, I got Hondo Bay. I needed some help from Bill on this one, as well as HONDO GRASS. It’s always nice to have a friend to phone. Thanks, Bill.
I had planned to do another short hike or two in the afternoon, but the 780-foot climb out of the canyon during the heat of the day took its tole on me. I decided to call it a day and leave the other caches for another adventure. I did drive down the road and quickly found Gateway to Topanga Ridge Motorway.
Total mileage for the 2 hikes was 6.7 miles, with a good amount of ups and downs. The trail tracks are shown below.
I really enjoyed getting out on the trail this morning. The trails were well-maintained and the birds, lizards, and the flowers were great hiking companions.