JANUARY

January 15th – Work Party: The Hummingbird Trail

It was chilly and a little windy when we first arrived.  There was filming going on at the Hummingbird Nest Ranch so there wasn’t much parking.  By the time the four volunteers gathered, the wind started to die down.  It was a lovely hike up to where we were to work.  There were two switchbacks, maybe a quarter the way up the Hummingbird trail, that needed shoring up with wood planks. Two 2″ X 12″ X 8′ pressure treated planks were brought up by wheelbarrow a couple days earlier.  We trenched in the planks, and filled in the eroded trail, by hauling fill dirt by wheelbarrow and flattening out the trail with pick mattock, McLeod hoe, and shovel.  The soil moisture content was perfect.  It sprinkled a little bit but not enough to get us wet.  Thanks for the remarkable accomplishment and the tireless efforts of Sheryl Knight, Muffit Jensen, Mike Kuhn and Martin DeGoey.

January 8th – Santa Rosa Valley Park (Conejo Canyons Open Space)

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14 hikers met in a dirt parking area on the left (east) side of Hill Canyon Road just past Santa Rosa Valley Equestrian Park (10241 Hill Canyon Rd, Camarillo) on a chilly winter morning (a 15th hiker joined us during the hike).  We began our hike into the Conejo Canyons Open Space just west of Wildwood Park by crossing 25-foot-wide Arroyo Conejo Creek via a nice bridge that provided excellent views of the year-round creek which had lots of water flowing.  Our route then followed the Hill Canyon Trail upstream along the creek toward a trail intersection that we’ve named Five Points, but before reaching it we took a “use” trail down to the creek where we noted that the temporary dam that is sometimes there was “missing” and there were no waterfowl in evidence.

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We then continued the short distance to Five Points where we continued south passing under majestic oak trees dotting a partially green grassland until we entered Hawk Canyon (a usually dense riparian woodland with poison oak).  The shaded canyon trail led us along a seasonal stream (presently a slow trickle) to a dirt road (part of the Western Plateau Trail) which we climbed as it rose steadily westward to a junction with an unnamed trail that continued southwestward to an overlook of the Oxnard Plain and the Pacific Ocean.  Note: As we gained elevation the sunlit morning had warmed up and the hike became quite pleasant.  After a short break at the overlook we returned to the loop portion of our hike heading northward on the Western Plateau Trail but we soon took the Plateau Rim Trail which is relatively new; it was quite attractive.  When the northern end of the Plateau Rim Trail reached [a different spot on] the Western Plateau Trail, we continued on to Five Points and then returned to our vehicles having completed a pleasant 6.6-mile hike with about 875’ of elevation gain/loss.  Note: Not long after our hike started we spotted two coyotes on the mountainside.

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