Los Padres National Forest
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I've been thinking I should go back to Cozy Dell for years now, then Thomas came roaring through, but I still kept thinking it. Thomas is a fire, of course. It stayed California's biggest for 6 whole months. That was just over two years ago and the forest was open again before it was officially out. Bernard's somehow never been on this trail, so he wanted to come along. It's not that he's never noticed it when passing along on CA-33 to somewhere further by a little or a lot, just that he's never stopped to see where it goes. There's a bit of potential for exploration, but I only plan to take the official trails to check on Valley View Camp. If I lived in Ojai, I would know all the little tracks up here and have got myself to Nordhoff Peak by a half dozen different routes including some from here, I expect. I've done it by a quarter dozen others anyway.
|The trail is well signed at the highway and there is a lot of parking on the far side of the highway. There is none on the same side. The trail starts beside the guardrail.|
|Up a minor creek area.|
Trail follows up a minor creek, but this is not yet the Cozy Dell. That's just over the hill, so the trail swings back upon itself and starts to climb. It's wide and rutted with water and well used. None of the bad is noticeable to fresh legs as we pay more attention to the orange tree groves. That's the real southern California. People would come here and plant their oranges and do better than those coming to dig out the orangey metal. I don't remember when this was all orange groves, but everywhere for a few hundred miles on down the coast and much of inland has a time when it was. We also ponder the trail up the far mountain. I think I remember it being there before, curiously well used then too, but then memory has a way of claiming what you want to hear.
|Getting a view into the valley around Matilija Creek with its oranges. The far eastern peak of the Santa Ynez Range there on the left has a distinct trail up it in addition to the unmaintained Camino Cielo section.|
|Over the top and there are more orange groves in Ojai.|
The trail dips and climbs on its way east above the Cozy Dell. There are houses down there somewhere, not that we really see them. Tracks break off to climb the hill. If they join up and follow the lines of the map labeled "Dozerline Trail", they make a fast way to the road at the top. Those are yet more routes to Nordhoff Peak. We're not going that far today. I still plan to see the camp and wander back, but there are two ways about it. We wander up and down with the official trail.