After spending a lot of time on Santa Monica Mountain trails chasing down caches for The SuMMit Challenge and the Santa Monica Mountains History Adventure, I haven’t been on the trail for more than 2 months. The reason wasn’t lack of interest; it was lack of time. My long period of unemployment came to an end on March 3rd and I’ve been trekking to work instead of trekking in the hills.
I finally was able to break the no-hiking streak today with a great hike to the top of Rocky Peak. Mike (lightningstar) and Cheri offered to keep me out of trouble. The 3 of us drove to the parking area off the Rocky Peak/118 bridge and up we went. The day couldn’t have been better for the hike. Cool, clear skies, with nice white clouds and not too much of a breeze made for great hiking conditions. Both Mike and I needed several caches along the road toward Rocky Peak. We found them all, and then it was up to the top of the peak. We did stop at Rocky Peak , a cache that I found on my first day of geocaching on May 5, 2001, to check on its health. Unfortunately, the recent DNF logs had merit—the cache is missing. I hate to see old caches get archived. I hope the owner replaces it. I’ve contacted him and volunteered to replace it, if needed.
I haven’t been to the summit of Rocky Peak since September 2002 when I found the Virtual cache Vertigo Peak. The new cache, Rocky Peak, is a Traditional cache, located only a few feet from the Virtual. When I look at the gc.com map, the Smiley Found icon for Vertigo Peak is on top of the yet-to-be-found icon for Rocky Peak. Because of that, I wasn’t aware of the cache to be found for a while.
I don’t mind hiking alone, but I don’t like boulder hopping without a friend nearby. That’s one reason why it was good to have Mike and Cheri along. We negotiated the trail through the rocks to the top of the peak and were rewarded with the best view that I’ve seen in quite a while. And unlike GoinHikin’s Rock & Roll Hoochie Koo that required 4 trips up the hill for me to find (actually Mike found it with some difficulty, even “knowing” where to look). Rocky Peak was in hand fairly quickly. We descended on a rather steep trail on the south side of the mountain and headed south on the road to the Hummingbird Trail junction. We made a few more finds on the way down the hill, and then it was through the drainage tunnel under the 118 and back to Mike and Cheri’s house.
It was one of those hikes that you don’t want to end. The weather was perfect, the hills and wildflowers were beautiful, and the time with friends was well spent. Total mileage was about 7 miles, with 8 caches found and no DNFs. A good day of caching!
Here are some of the blooms that we saw. Enjoy. And Happy Caching!