Geology and the Old 99 Highway

23 02 2012

Spoondoggie had never been to the south side of the Lake Pyramid dam, so we set aside some time to head up there and take the 5-mile roundtrip hike up the old highway 99 to check it out. Here’s bit on the history of the highway – Hwy 99

The contrails were striking in the clear blue sky. It was pretty windy, but not too chilly.

This is Piru Creek: “Here, the flow of the lower creek is augmented by water releases from Pyramid dam and reservoir. This segment offers one of the few reliable year-round cold water trout fisheries in Southern California and is managed as a catch and release Wild Trout Stream by the California Department of Fish and Game. It is also a popular spot for families to picnic, view wildlife, and catch a glimpse of old California, before it was transformed by the urban megalopolis.” – from this site

Here’s where the wild trout are:

The dam is ahead of us, and there is a lot of geology to see in the rocks cutaway by both the original road construction and river erosion.

Scott finally got to see this side of the dam, and we both analyzed the nearby rock formations to learn about Piru Gorge Sandstone Ripples and Channels. I never knew that rocks could show which direction water flows.

Be sure to check out that cache page for diagrams and information on this phenomenon, expertly described by TerryDad.

In the spirit of Los Angeles history, we had lunch at Tommy Burgers! Those are not just iconic, but super yummy!


16 02 2012

I got out for a hike with f0t0m0m yesterday morning hoping to beat the rain. We didn’t, and ended up hightailing back to the car for a mile and a half in the drizzle and the mud, but on the way up, I was once again delighted to see the first of the myriads of our wildflowers already starting to bloom.

I don’t know the names of them all, but I do know this one is purple lupine:

This is indian paintbrush:

This photo shows at least a dozen different types of plants:

I’d like to learn more about what plants are edible, but the only one I know for sure is this one, miner’s lettuce:

Here’s a little blue flower:

Here’s a little purple flower:

You can see bushes of purple flowers on the rocky hill across the canyon:

I saw three different types of yellow flowers!

some type of daisy:


This lonely sticky monkey flower will be one of many setting the hillside ablaze with its orange and yellow color in a couple of weeks:

The rock formations show interesting colors, too:

They also are home to moss:

… and lichen.

The clouds lifted from time to time to allow for some great vistas!

Here’s what we found today on the hike, and there are more to get on the next, hopefully dry, hike up.
I-5 Overlook
Ursula's Unhealthy Buffet
Oak Grove #1
Oak Grove #2
Oak Grove #3
The Tin Man

Los Angeles Pet Cemetery

9 02 2012

After well over 25,000 finds, there are still amazing and surprising things to discover while out caching!
The Pet Cemetery

The Los Angeles Pet Cemetery is one of those places, indeed. I was completely unaware that any such place existed, and it’s been here since 1928.

Follow this link -LA Pet Cemetery- to learn more about the cemetery and its history. It looks like any other cemetery at first glance.

There are new flowers everywhere, so this is a very active place.

Near the entrance is a charming garden…

…with a large stone homage to The Rainbow Bridge:

It was difficult not to get choked up as I walked around. Some headstones were quite large!

These are two from what was the first section of plots, dated 1929:

Some had photos of the pets, much like some human headstones:

I even found one in Chinese, near this tree covered in wind chimes:

The music from the chimes added to the peace and charm. At the back is a small mausoleum, also dated 1929.

It’s decorated with some really beautiful stained glass:

f0t0m0m explored a different corner of the cemetery, came across some famous horses!

We even found Rudolf Valentino’s dog.

There were a few graves for cats and horses, but most were dogs. I don’t know if I’ll put my cats here to rest, but it’s certainly something to consider. It was wonderful to come across this unusual and significant bit of Los Angeles history and culture, in any case.

Juan Bautista de Anza Trail

2 02 2012

There is a 1.4 mile section of trail between Las Virgenes Road and the end of a frontage road in Calabasas that is quite historic. It was part of the original routes of the first Spanish explorers and part of the main thoroughfare throughout California, the El Camino Real.

I started on the west end with f0t0m0m on the section that is most familiar to me. This hill was one of the first hikes I took when I first began geocaching, but the trail did not go all the way through then.

We quickly could see a nice slice of the hills to the west….

…even more so as we crested the hill we were on.

This bench is at said crest.

There are quite a few informative signs along the trail now. This one discusses the importance to the ecosystem of the seasonal fires.

When we descended in to the next valley, we were confronted by a flooded section of trail.

We had to search upstream for a reasonable place to cross, and I still managed to get one of my feet soaked. The rest of the trail was basically flat to the east end, where I found the first cache of the day that was new to me:
De Anza trailhead

Even though it’s warm here, the trees are barren for winter.