Saturday, July 21, 2007

Hiking Ventura County #25: Foothill Trail

I did not want to get up this morning. I drug myself out of bed and headed to Denny's to eat some breakfast of the way to Ojai. I stopped at the Pratt trailhead. The trails heads up the foothills past homes and ranches. The hike even passes through the back garden of one house. A plaque commemorates Shawny who tended the garden until her death in 2006. She liked talking to the hikers that passed through her garden. She sounds like she was a wonderful woman.

The trail splits. The right hand trail is the foothill trail. It climbs up and down over the hills. I was hurting a bit on this trail. I don't think I completely recovered from last week's hike and I have been sick the last week (still a little horse). This portion of the trail had nice views of the Ojai Valley, forests, meadows, and chaparral. The breeze up here kept me cool. I scared a group of deer along this part of the trail. No pictures of the deer but I did get a picture of a bunny. The trail hits some private property and the trail goes around to the left.

I came across another memorial to a fallen biker. I found a similar one on the Cozy Dell Trail not too far from this trail. I guess if you have to go, go doing something you enjoy.

After I got around the private property I missed a turn. Somewhere there is a path that takes you to Gridley road. I missed it. I was now down in the canyons and the breeze disappeared and it got really hot. Eventually I realized my mistake. I looked at the GPS map and found a trail/fire road that headed in the right direction. The road took me by homes (big homes) being built up in the hills. I eventually made it to Hermitage Lane. This road passes through nice houses, ranches, and irrigation ponds surrounded with cattails. As I left Hermitage Lane, through an open gate (gated community) past the no-trail-access-for-hikers sign (oops), the road connects up with Gridley road and I was back on track.

From Gridley Road I connected with Shelf Road (also known as Valley View Road). There are some interesting views of Ojai Valley along this road. I found two geocaches along this road (and did not find another): "Shelf Road #1" and "Shelf Road #2: The Road Less Traveled". Along the road there were several cairns, also known as ducks. On one of these, I saw another rabbit.

When I made it back to the car I was really tired. The hike was 8.31 miles. 1.31 miles longer then I had planned. I am starting to doubt that I can keep up the one hike a week pace - especially since the hikes are getting longer. We'll see.

Pictures are here. I took them with my new camera. I didn't use it that much this hike as the views, while nice, were nothing super spectacular. I liked the camera though.

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