Saturday, May 6, 2017


Another part of my grand adventure
 to my son's home was a hike in the canyon.
After the day of exploring & planting on Saturday,
 we met up with Nicole's parents,
Nick and Mary,
 who are avid hikers/athletes, 
on Sunday at the Las Virgenes Canyon Trailhead 
for the hike of my life.
My son Zach goes here a lot to enjoy nature as he gets his cardio in.
They told me the place has a fascinating history.
It is a sacred and cultural site for the Chumash and Tongva Indians.
And it was used starting in 1914 for "big scenes" in the movies and T.V.
Parts of Gone with the Wind, They Died with their Boot On, & Petticoat Junction
were all filmed here. 
There were several choices of trails to follow.
We decided to go right towards an ancient Indian cave.
There was parking for a small donation, 
or you could try to park in the residential chi chi West Hills neighborhood off Victory Blvd.
So off we go with Zach and Nicole leading the way.
With the recent heavy rains,
 the California Native Plant population was thriving,
with some in full bloom.
The rains also carved away a portion of the trail,
 making it challenging in spots not to twist an ankle.

It was a warm weekend,
94 degrees at 9:30 in the morning when we started off.
Getting to the cave was all downhill,
which meant coming back was going to be a b-i-t-c-h for me.
And it was,
 but there was so much beauty around I just enjoyed it all while I huffed and puffed.

Then at last the rock formation with the cave everyone kept telling me about.
What they didn't tell me
 was how difficult it was going to be
 just to get close enough to even think about scaling the rock walls.
Nicole went first,
then her dad.
Her mom wasn't sure if she wanted to try it,
but here she is going on up.
And finally up went my son below.

Note: this last month marked the end of Nicole's mother, 
 first year surviving cancer, 
with all the chemo and radiation therapy that goes with it. 
She just now has her full head of hair grown back in after losing it all.
And she continues teaching her yoga classes and walking/running 5 miles a day.
Mary is the strongest woman I know.

So what about me?
Someone had to stay back to take pictures,

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