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Eagle Rock, Topanga State Park
Brigid, Chris, David, and Ryan participated on this hike.
Ah Nature... Today's hike took us one step closer - houses a little further in the distance, paths a little less worn, and much more wildlife than our first excursion. We even bumped into a boy scout troop... now that's authentic.
Departing from Ackerman shortly after 7:30, our crew of four - Brigid, Chris, David and Ryan - trekked up Pacific Coast Highway until turning onto the gently curving Topanga Canyon Road. Arriving by 8:00, we parked beneath a shady tree, and started on the trail. For the first mile, we traveled along a west face, and, with the sun still low in the sky, found conditions quite nice. Some local bugs were enjoying the weather as well, but (if we were moving) they weren't really too much trouble. Continuing on, we finished our ascent following a gentle grade, and captured Eagle Rock 'round 9:30. As if by design, there was even a small formation at the top, which one could mount with little difficulty, providing a subtle accent to the sense of triumph. On cue a few blue birds began playing in some low bushes near our resting point, and the scene was complete. The sun was smooth, flying inconveniences had retired for the day, and everyone seemed to have a grand time.
On descent, mildly tenacious path foliage sparked a brief(?) discussion of ticks. But not to worry - we are too late in the season, and everyone seemed to make it home safely. In fact, the hike's tone did change slightly, and it really became hard to imagine Los Angeles was just over the next ridge. We traveled through quiet creek beds, across tall grass, and even found a fair bit of tree cover on our way down the mountain. There might easily have been a half dozen lizards of some stature, and only a couple other parties on the trail. Paths could have been slightly better marked, but ambiguous routes were no match for our collective genius (master plan... go down hill) and we made it back without detour.
After three easy hours on the trail, we were homeward bound by 11:00. David even provided some tasty, and delectable peanut free snacks for the ride back to campus. Sweet!
Summary composed by Chris.