Monday, February 4, 2013

Adventure: Ventura River Preserve Hike

I come from a small town on a small island in the middle of the ocean. I went to school in a small town in the middle of nowhere Oregon. Living in the big city of LA, compared to what I was used to growing up and through college, it can get to be a bit overwhelming from time to time. I love the outdoors. I love peace and quiet. Sometimes I need to just get away from it all even if it is for just a weekend. This weekend that is just what I did.

I made my way up north to smaller city of Ventura. While having over 100,000 people, Ventura still has the small surf town vibe. While there was surf expected to come in Sunday, Saturday was more for relaxing and exploring. After asking around, I found my way up to the Ventura River Preserve near Ojai, CA.

I started at the Riverview Trailhead.  I made my way down the trails and right away I was surprised by the vastness. The trail map showed many different trails for people to take. Since I had no clue one from any other, I picked one and went on my way.

The first trail I was on was the Willis Canyon trail. Everything started out nice and flat. There was a stream crossing which was dried up at the time. There were plenty of stepping stones though so I don't imagine the crossing would be that much of a problem even if water was present.

After the river crossing, I got into the hills. This was the feeling I was looking for, a get away. I continued up this trial for about a mile. At this point I came to a split in the trail. I chose to go left onto the Fern Grotto Trail. There really was no reason for picking this other that I just felt like it.

Looking back, I think this was the smart move. The Fern Grotto trail connected up with the Chaparral Crest and the Oso Ridge trail. Both these ran along the ridge of the hills overlooking the preserve giving me great view. While it was a nice little hill climb up, it was a cakewalk after the hills I ran last week. And like all hills, once you get to the top its all down hill from there.

I followed the Oso Ridge trial back down to the stream crossing. This did bring me down about a half mile south of the trail head I was parked at. I made my way back up along the dry stream bed to my car.

While there were no mile markers of any sort on the trail, I estimated that my total hike was about 4.5 to 5 miles. During that time I saw a total of maybe 10 people. I'm sure the amount of trails spread out the people that were there. I did enjoy this as it allowed my to enjoy the peace and quiet that I love.

As I followed the road back down to Ventura, I took in a deep breath. While I am certainly enjoying living in LA, I do miss the fresh air and quiet of the small towns I was used to before. It is nice to go back to those places whenever I can.

 Just a few other pics that I took:

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