Thursday, March 15, 2007

Hiking Ventura County #8 - Rattlesnake Canyon

The Altar Boy is on his way home and it is time for me to catch up on my posting. Last Sunday, 11 March, while the wife and Altar Boy were watching whales, I did a hike in Rattlesnake Canyon in the hills overlooking Santa Barbara. The day was very hot so I packed a lot of water. I had five geocaches in my GPS and I was ready to go. The hike follows Rattlesnake Creek and weaves in and out of the shade of the trees. I liked this hike. The scenery was nice and it wasn't too crowded. Even though it is named Rattlesnake Canyon, I did not see any snakes. A few pictures here. Here are some caches I did along the trail:

  1. "The Barking Brook": This was small cache hidden on the ground near a tree. My GPS was all over the place so I was searching all over the place until the container caught my eye.

  2. "The Way to Gibraltar": This was another easy one. I left the Skeleton Key travel bug and picked up the Arizona State geocoin.

  3. "Come Away For Awhile.... ": To get to this one I started up a small steep trail that climbed up the side of the canyon. The trail eventually came out to a road and a cliff wall. I decided to walk up the road that leads to a Benedictine Monastery. Up the road a trail branched off and went up the top of a ridge where I found a couple of benches and a cross. The views were amazing and the islands were clearly visible in the distance. I found the cache nearby and headed back down to the main canyon trail.

  4. "Sneaky Creekins": This cache had not been found for a long time. I looked and looked but couldn't find it. I wore myself out climbing up and down near the creek with no luck. I expect it is not there anymore. I wasted way to much time looking.

  5. "SnakeLedge Snowman": This cache was supposed to be very difficult. I started up the creek rock hopping my way towards the cache. I followed the signal up a side wash and came within 390 ft. At this point I was totally exhausted. I had turned a moderate trail into a strenuous one. It was getting late and I decided that I didn't have the energy or time to reach the cache. I headed back down the wash and came across a trail that connected back with the main trail. If I had used this trail instead of rock hopping, I probably would have had enough energy to get to the cache site. Maybe someday I will return and get this cache.
The hike was supposed to be 3.5 miles but I ended up doing only 2.5 miles. I think I actually didn't complete the entire hike because of the detour I took to the last cache. Even though is was a short hike, the rock hopping really took a lot out of me. I like to rock hop - it's really fun and challenging - but it is also tiring.

The next hike is The Grotto. This one is actually in Ventura County - imagine that.

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