Back on the Trail

March 14, 2015

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About 13 months ago, I was hiking in the Tri Peaks area with EcuaDeb.  I was trying to complete both the  Santa Monica Mtns History Adventure and The SuMMit Challenge on the same day.  I jokingly told Debbie that as soon as I completed both of this great challenge caches I could quit geocaching.  Unfortunately, that is about what happened.  Since that day in February 2014, I have only had 106 finds.  It wasn’t that I no longer was interested.  The low stats were a result of long hours at a new job and needing to take care of things around the house.  When I would plan for a hike, the elements conspired against me with rain, wind, or heat.

This morning, everything worked out.  Even though the forecast was for HOT, the day was quite pleasant.  It was a great day for a geohike.

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The plan for the day was to take a short loop hike in the Chumash Trail area of Simi Valley.  Instead of starting at the Chumash Trailhead, I began at the end of Evening Sky Drive.  From there, it was a short walk to the first cache–Juliette’s Cache 2.  After logging it, it was up the Chumash Trail to find Under a Rock.

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For Under a Rock, you climb up the Chumash Trail, only to go down a steep hill for the find.  That’s what geocaching often is–go up, so you can going back down.

The recent rains woke up the wildflowers and greened up the grasses.  Unfortunately, I don’t think it is going to last too much longer.  The grasses are going to seed and starting to dry up already.

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After finding Under a Rock and hiking back up to the Chumash Trail, the cutoff for the rest of the caches wasn’t too far away.  Geocaching Independence Day was the next cache.  It celebrates Daylight Saving Time’s gift of an extra hour of light in the afternoon.  I’ve enjoyed caching in the afternoon after work, so I’ve always appreciated DST.

Geocaching Independence Day and the next several caches are on a semi-cross country trek.  This was the first time I’ve followed this “trail.”  I was pleasantly surprised to find some real trailwork along the way.  Someone worked to put in several switchbacks.

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Lock It UpDo You Have A Hangup?Do You Have A Hangup?, and Spiders, Flies, & Other Icky Things–all Granpa7 caches–were the remaining caches for the day.  I think Granpa7 likes peanut butter.

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The bloom of the day was bush sunflowers.  They seems to be everywhere.  I saw some nice blooms of lupine as I was heading up Chumash, but they were all in the shade.  I figured that I’d photograph them when they were posing in the sunlight.  But once into the light, the lupine were gone.

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If you plan on doing this loop, I recommend that you do it in the direction that I did.  Start on the Chumash Trail and do the loop counter clockwise.  That way, the steepest parts of the trail are downhill.

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This loop was 2.15 miles and took me about 2 hours.  If you are interested in doing it, do it soon before the foxtails dry out.  Once that happens, you will spend more time cleaning the stickers from your shoes and socks that you will hiking.

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