Sunday, April 18, 2010

Take a hike

When I was younger, I used to love going on hikes. On weekends, my brother and I would hop on our bikes and pedal north into the rolling hills near our house or south to Corriganville Park-- where they used to shoot wild west movies-- to explore the dirt trails. And some of my favorite days at summer camp were those times when the camp counselors would lead us on "nature walks" through grassy fields nearby.

So when the boy suggested yesterday afternoon that we go on a hike, I was game. He had just helped his dad on a construction job in Newbury Park at a home that sits directly across from that view above. Pretty amazing, huh? Well, the boy heard that there were some pretty fabulous trails too-- ones that lead to waterfalls, even. So around 3 o'clock we got our butts off the couch and piled into the car with Hazel for an adventure.

We had planned to hike the Big Sycamore Canyon Trail, a paved service road that parallels a stream and winds its way to the ocean. Well, we ended up starting our hike at Wendy Trail instead, a dirt path that narrowed closely in some parts. I was a bit stressed at the beginning, worried about Hazel getting a tick or a rattler striking at her from the brush. But we survived and after passing an interesting little Indian hut and a rest stop we eventually hooked up with the trail we had meant to start on.

The trail really is quite lovely. There's expanses of grasslands, beautiful wildflowers and a stoney peak called Boney Mountain that dominates the scene. A sign along the trail describes the mountain as a "majestic beacon . . . (that) invites you to pause, reflect and look inward." And Charlie Cooke, a hereditary Chumash chief, says it's "a sacred spiritual area, a shaman's retreat, and a place for vision quests. It is a place for meditation. From up there, you can see everything." Maybe one day, we'll get up there.

All in all, we hiked for a little over an hour. We were getting a bit tired ourselves but at that point Hazel was utterly exhausted. We had to carry her back to the car; lucky girl, she got a free ride. I could tell she was pooped because she didn't even try to get down to walk herself. By the time I got in the car, all I wanted was some AC and a big gulp of our Crystal Lite. But I'd definitely do it again. Hopefully next time we will start earlier and we can take the 8-mile Big Sycamore Canyon Trail all the way through Point Mugu State Park to its final destination: the Pacific Ocean.

Here's some photos snapped along the trail:

Hope you are having a wonderful, sunny weekend! This Dane is off to enjoy some Aebleskivers at the annual Scandinavian Festival soon!


Erin said...

Just beautiful! What a great place to hike or just stroll along in the sun!

Amber (Girl with the red hair) said...

Looks BEAUTIFUL! Hiking is one of my absolute most favourite things to do in the summertime!!

Heather Taylor said...

You look like you had a swell time!

Phoenix said...

Love hikes so much. I used to go to Angeles Crest Forest at least once a month before it was burned. Now I'm in dire need of some new hiking trails...