Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Backbone Trail Shakedown Hike

Much later at Encinal Canyon

On a beautiful 3-day weekend in February, Lauren and I were joined by our friend Matt on a high-mileage hike across the spine of the Santa Monica Mountains. Here is a gallery with commentary of our Backbone Trail trip.

This route is mostly completed and connects the coast at Pt. Mugu near Oxnard, CA back to Will Rogers State Park in Santa Monica. Apparently Tom Harrison makes some great maps of the trail, but we weren't using them and paid price with some navigational errors. The trail is approximately 67 miles, but we ended up hiking more like 74 over the three days.

Along with all of the beautiful views, spring greens and fresh air - we encountered intense sun & heat and long waterless stretches as well as driving rain, howling winds, mud and long days. Needless to say, it made for a great preparatory AT hike! Through all this we remained positive and had an enjoyable experience. Of course 25 mile days were a bit tiring, but due to our lightweight gear, Lauren and I we were pleasantly surprised with no traces of soreness.

Our friend Matt was a great addition to the trip, although he'll admit that he over packed by a bit. The three of us had a great time bonding.

Lauren and I left the trip feeling a new sense of confidence in our outdoor skills, and our lightweight homemade gear. (Thanks Ray!)

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