Friday, March 07, 2008

Hiking Ventura County #47: Las Robles Trail - Part 2

Thursday's hike was the eastern half of the Los Robles Trail. I posted about the western half last month. I was not that impressed by the western half as it was very urban and the up-down roller coaster was grueling. The eastern half is a totally different hike. There's a lot of vertical up-down but it was not as difficult as the other half and the trail has a much more rural feel to it.


The hike starts on east Potrero Road and starts climbing up to the top of a ridge. The first two thirds of a mile take you past some nice homes before it turns west and away from the evidence of the urban. Near the top of the ridge I ran into my first quandary. Since I was dividing the Los Robles in half and I was now doing the second half, my trail description was backwards. When I reached the first intersection, a four way intersection, I had difficulty deciding how to determine the correct way to go. It turned out there were a couple ways to interpret the reversed directions. I decided to use the geocaches that I'd programmed for this hike to guide me. Not the best way to go since I didn't even know for sure if they were even on the right trail.

After making a few wrong turns and taking some questionable trails, I made it to the main Los Robles trail and started off in the right direction. The trail is a dirt road that passes through a rural area even though civilization was never really that far away. The surrounding hills blocked most of the traffic sounds. The only reminders were the power lines that criss-crosses the hills.

The last third of my hike was familiar territory. I'd been here last year when I did the Los Robles Loop. After going down a steep and kind of treacherous, trail I arrived at a picnic table that was going to be my turn around point. When I got there, without falling down I may add, I realized that I had not reached my desired 5 miles yet so I followed a spur trail that took me up a hill. This part of the trail turned out to be the best part of the hike. The trail was covered by a canopy of trees - very nice.

I turned around at the 5.02 mile point and headed back to the picnic table. On the way back down I noticed something that looked familiar. I stepped off the trail and there it was, a geocache. Looking through the log I saw that I had found this one when I did the Los Robles loop.

I sat down at the picnic table. Like the table on the Happy Camp hike, I was accompanied by a lost hat. I had lunch and rested up in preparation for climbing back up the steep trail.

I found a few more caches on the way back to the car. The caches took me on a different path which, some how, shortened my hike a wee bit. The total hike was 9.73 miles. There was about 584 feet of vertical - not much compared to some of the hikes I've done recently. The different path also took me to the wrong side of a creek forcing me to ford the swift moving cement lined creek bed. Fortunately my boots are waterproof and I managed to cross without slipping on the slimy algae covered concrete.

The hike was OK. Definitely better then the first half of this Los Robles trail. It turned out that the geocaches were the main feature of this hike - I found 14 geocaches in all. The caches got me on the right trail and kept me going in the right direction. They also took me to various vista points that gave me great views of the city of Thousand Oaks. Without the caches, the hike would have been just average. A few, very few, pictures can be found here.

8 comments:

  1. I just came across your blog - and I really like it! I subscribed. 14 geocaches and almost 10 miles hiked. Nice day!

    Stop by our blog and say hi. We always like to see new friends.

    The Northwoods Geocats FTC

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  2. Norm: Welcome to Homer's Travels and thank you for subscribing. Geocaching often takes the back seat to the hike (:-O the horror!!) but I do enjoy a clever hide.

    The Wife and I will be moving to Omaha later this summer so we'll practically be neighbors.

    I've subscribed to you blog and will give it a look. I've also taken the liberty to link it in Homer's Travels.

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  3. Thanks for stopping by the blog and commenting. I'll add your site to my blogroll. Stop back anytime. We have a bunch of regular posters and you are certainly welcome to join in anytime.

    Speaking of hiking, two weekends ago we had some mild temps and we got out for a short hike - without geocaching. What's the point!

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  4. While I like geocaching, I have found that large numbers on a hike can distract from just enjoying the beauty around you. I hike to relax and not being able to find a 35mm canister in a rock field can get in the way of the relaxation.

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  5. JaG: I know. I'm really disappointed in myself. I didn't even come close to falling. What is my problem!?! ;-)

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  6. Those algae-lined concrete channels are the worst. There's one in Topanga that scares the crap outta me. Glad to see you stayed upright!

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  7. GH: The first step was the worst as I could feel just how slippery it was but i managed it.

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