Homer's Travels: Hiking Ventura County #30: Inspiration Point

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Hiking Ventura County #30: Inspiration Point

Saturday's hike took me to a place I had been to before. The trail I was taking this time was different though. I would take the Jesusita (little female Jesus??) trail starting on San Roque Road. The hike was supposed to be 8 miles with a 1,700 feet vertical. It, of course, wasn't. The description said that the sign at the trailhead, which said 3 miles, was incorrect and should actually say 4 miles. My GPS says the sign is right (6.15 miles round trip) with 1,435 feet vertical. I have heard second hand that some people are making fun of my precision when giving the length and climb of a hike. The fact is knowing the length and potential difficulty of a hike is important for planning an outing and some of the errors I have identified could make the difference between having enough water and supplies and not. So there :-p

I started this hike with little expectations but I was pleasantly surprised. The hike starts of as a wooded path with lots of shade. The trail crosses a creek several times. At this time of year there was no running water, only stagnant pools. One of the larger pools was filled with tadpoles foreshadowing a good crop of frogs/toads. There are funnel spider webs everywhere. You can see flecks of ash from the Zaca fire caught in the webs. There is also ash resting on most of the rocks. One positive thing is that I could not see the plume of smoke from the fire today.

The trail passes through part of the Moreno Ranch. The owners were even nice enough to put up a picnic table and a water fountain on part of the trail. It's nice to see someone supporting the hikers. As I passed the ranch I could hear someone working some metal, what sounded like a generator, and a crowing rooster.

After the last creek crossing the trail heads steeply up the hill. At first I was a little worried about how steep it was but it soon leveled out into a more gentle shaded switchback up the hill. The path eventually reaches a dirt Edison road (Edison is the local electric company and the road services the nearby power lines). You aren't on the road very long before the trail diverges from the road and you soon find yourself at Inspiration Point. I was a little surprised when I reached the point - I thought it was still further ahead. It was only quarter to 10:00.

I took a small path to some rocks where I had found a geocache last time, climbed up on a large rock and snacked while admiring the views of Santa Barbara and the surrounding mountains. I ate an orange and a sandwich. Not as good as this one GeekHiker made but good enough. I won't post a picture of the sandwich as it's pretty pathetic.

From my vantage point I could see the path for next week's hike to Cathedral Peak. It looks pretty hard. The trail is around 5 miles round trip with over 2,300 feet vertical. The way up looks steep, rugged, and exposed to the sun - in other words, a challenge. Cool. I will post a picture of my path next week after I do the hike.

On the way back I chatted up a lady and her dog. She recognized the geocaching logo on my hat. She wasn't a geocacher but she knew people who were. After our nice little chat I headed down to the car.

Something happened on this hike that I was hoping would never happen. From 1992 through 2001 I have had bouts of tendonitis in my feet. Every year I would have one or two serious flare-ups. In 2001 after ACL reconstruction surgery I had a particularly bad flare-up. My orthopedic surgeon confirmed that I had tendonitis, bone spurs, and pre-arthritis. My Mom suggested that I try Glucosomine and Chondroitin. It had helped some of her friends. I thought what the heck. I started on it back in May 2001 and I have not had a flare-up since ... until today. I guess all the pounding my feet have taken since February is finally catching up with me. One thing I may try is taking ibuprofen before I go hiking. Now I take ibuprofen after I hike. Maybe a preemptive attack will help. We'll see.

This was a quick and easy hike. I was up and back in under four hours. It helped that most of the hike is shaded and the temperature was 20 °F cooler today than last week's hike at Simi Peak. I kind of wish it had been a couple miles longer though. I picked up a geocache near the trailhead before heading back home. Pictures are here.


  1. Heh, you know you're becoming a hiking addict when you get to the end and find yourself wishing the hike was "a couple of miles longer". :D

  2. Ain't that the truth. I got back to the car before noon and it felt ... incomplete.