January 17th – After Christmas Party
Ursula Christie again welcomed us into her beautifully decorated home for our annual potluck holiday party. A variety of foodstuffs accumulated as a stream of “Trail Blazers” arrived to partake in the festivities. The participants quickly took advantage of the rare opportunity to spend non-hiking time with “old” friends as small conversational groups formed and re-formed to trade news of each other’s recent activities and discuss plans for futures activities.
January 11th – Johnson Motorway to Rocky Peak
12 hikers met at the trailhead on Iverson Road just outside the gated southern entrance to Indian Springs Estates in Chatsworth on a chilly winter morning. After following the easement through the upscale gated community, we reached the beginning of the unpaved Johnson Motorway (once a toll road).
The trail (an old dirt and sandstone roadbed) rose westward until it met a short “driveway” leading north to the ruins of the ranch house that was built by Ann and Neils Johnson who were the first English-speaking homesteaders in the San Fernando Valley; they had built their primary home in “Chatsworth Park” in the 1870’s. Leaving the ruins, we followed the Johnson Motorway as it passed through a landscape of dramatic rock formations, climbing steadily, but not steeply, toward the Rocky Peak Fire Road. We soon warmed up thanks to the direct sunlight and our body’s generation of heat as we hiked uphill. After 3.5 miles we reached the fire road where we took a short break. We then headed southward along the Rocky Peak Fire Road enjoying views of interesting rock formations and Simi Valley to the west. A short spur trail led us to an overlook of the San Fernando Valley near Rocky Peak. We soon retraced our route downhill back to our vehicles and returned home having completed a pleasant 9-mile hike with about 1,900’ of total elevation gain/loss.
January 4th – Hummingbird Trail and Rocky Peak
18 hikers assembled at the on-street parking area at the north end of Kuehner Drive at the trailhead (1,175′) for the Hummingbird Trail (just outside the gate into Hummingbird Ranch) on what promised to be a nice day for hiking. The morning was a bit chilly as we started our hike, but we quickly warmed up as we began our 2.4-mile eastward climb to the Rocky Peak Fire Road. The trail passed through (and on) a variety of imposing rock formations along the way including very large boulders and giant slabs of sandstone rock, many with small “caves.”