Thursday, April 22, 2010

Backbone Trail Redux aka "VICTORY!"

Hike: Backbone Trail - Corral Canyon to Castro Crest

The Inspiration: Stubbornness

Highest Altitude: 2,250'

Trip Mileage: 6.6

Total 2010 Mileage: 57.8

Last weekend, Rebecca and I set out to avenge our misguided journey on the Santa Monica Mountains Illicit Drug Trail, hoping that if we started at the Corral Canyon parking lot entrance to the Backbone Trail, we could retrace our steps and figure out what in the holy hell went wrong back there.

Legs stretched, packs fastened, and sheer determination at full throttle, we quickly wound our way down to the canyon floor, leaving a few lumpy cairns in our wake, lest we end up in Meth Lab Valley once more.

We took our time wandering underneath a thick canopy of greenery, crossing a shallow creek eight or nine times, emerging at one point in the mist of a mini-Manservant Meadow (I'll explain that some other time), where we later spotted this phallic, yet adorable piece of work:

Not a care on our minds besides finding the damn effing damn mothersucking effing other side of the Backbone Trail by the Castro Crest, we sauntered through the thick foliage, until we heard an utterly frightening noise. We both froze.

My inner monologue: Is that a woman being attacked in the woods? I'm really starting to hate the Backbone Trail.

Rebecca looked at me.

I looked at her.

Then the godawful sound happened again.

"Oh, that's just a bird," I say, ignoring my inner monologue.

"Well, it sounds like maybe a baby mountain lion being mauled to death," says Rebecca, clearly in tune with her own inner monologue.

"Just a bird," I mutter, and unconvinced, we barely restrain ourselves from running as fast as humanly possible away from the sound...until we hear another sound.

Ohmygod, it'scomingforusandit'sgoingtokillusandwe'regoingtodieonthiseffingdamneffingtrail.

Oh, nevermind. Just some people hiking with a dog. Perhaps I should lay off the Lost marathons for a while.

Without trying, we've both summoned up the maximum levels of adrenaline permissible in the human body, and we hightail it up the trail until we come to it...the other end.

Wait a minute. Waiiiiiiiiit a minute. I know where we are. And I know how we completely missed this the first time - see photo below:

Pretend you're walking straight ahead, facing East in this photo, towards that humpy thing in the background. Do you see a trail turnoff? No, neither did we. So we kept walking due East, towards the humpy thing, and that is how we ended up on the Santa Monica Mountains Illicit Drug Trail.

Now look a little closer at the left side of the photo - do you see a wee little itty witty bitty area that maaaaaaybe might be something? Yeah, that's a 90-degree turn in the trail that's unmarked and pretty easy to miss when you have a large humpy thing distracting you straight ahead.

Now you know.

And so do we.

What Would Ed Do?

Ed would not be distracted by humpy things in the distance - Ed would look around at his surroundings just a weeeeee bit. Also, Ed would have saved us both from certain death by the woman/baby mountain lion-mauling machine lurking out in the forest.


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