Hike 8 of #52HikeChallenge
2020 Conejo Open Space Challenge

Hike 9 of #52HikeChallenge

Liberty Canyon Natural Preserve

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One of the main ways I find new trails is seeing them from a distance. I see this trail from the freeway on my way home from work. It looks difficult. You can only see the first part of it (1 on the pic), and that part is straight up with no curves. As I was hiking up this trail, I was wondering why seeing a daunting hill like this makes me want to climb it.

It's because I can. Ten years ago I weighed nearly 300 lbs. and got winded walking up the stairs in my own house. Now I can do this.

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This unnamed trail was 0.9 miles straight up to the top of a 1400-ft. peak. There was no winding relief in the path and no shade to be had. Every time I reached a peak (numbered on the first pic), there was an even higher peak hiding behind it. There were some downhill portion which tricks you into thinking you are getting a rest, but it just makes the next hill that much harder to climb.

The last peak was the steepest, rockiest, most treacherous bit of hiking I've done so far. I could not have even attempted it without my hiking poles, and my trail runners were almost not up to the task. I finished my first bottle of water right before that last peak. My rule is to turn around when that happens, but I went this last little bit so I could get to the top and because I knew I wouldn't need as much water on the way back down.

I was wrong about that actually. The strenuous activity of climbing this trail along with the lack of shade and breeze pushed me over that fine line between "hot and sweaty" and "overheated." I gulped down the last of my second bottle of water about 150 yards from my car.

I'd actually planned to take that leg of the trail to the right at the peak, but I was done in.

This was a pretty trail from start to finish.



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Early poppies
The view from the top


Future Hikes

Not this one! This will be brutal in the summer.

Needed Gear

I need a big dumb hiking hat that has lots of ventilation and shades my whole and neck. I need hiking boots. I need one of those dumb water bladders I hate.



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