No Drive Needed: CLU to Wildwood

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Chloé signing in on a beautiful Saturday. I hope the weekend is treating you all well, especially my fellow classmates who got the Friday off.

I started my Friday morning off lying in bed, longer than I should have, so I decided I would get my booty into gear and do a leisurely hike. Those who know California Lutheran University campus, know that there is a hill with CLU painted on rocks and a cross at the tip top. This is a very short walk from campus, and short hike, but it connects to a lot of other trails in the area.

Veering left from the rocks is a trail that crosses into Lower Butte trail, and a connector to Wildwood. I have taken the Lower Butte trail to the left before and ended up on a street trying to find my way back to a trail, but knew it connected somewhere to Wildwood. This time I decided to turn right. This took me behind the mountains looking over Moorpark, Santa Rosa Rd. There is a lot of horse and farm property there.

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I saw quite a bit of wildlife, though it was at it’s peak temperature around 2 pm. I saw 3 hawks, 2 crows, 3 sparrows, and a couple lizards. The wind picked up as I first started  my way towards Wildwood, but once I turned to the other side of the mountain it stopped.

As you can see in the first picture, Opuntia, or prickly pear cacti, were thriving still in the heat wave. Prickly pear cactus have flat pads with spikes and red fruits that grow off the pads. These have tiny hair like spikes that are a pain to try and get out of your skin, however are not very painful. You can eat the fruit which is very refreshing (helpful if you are ever stranded in need of water and food).

I found one that looked ripe and got my knife out to fine dine in the wilderness. img_1787

Tasted amazing! You cannot eat the skin, especially because there are the tiny hairlike spikes in them, but the inside holds tons of candy-like flavor. I left the rest for some birds and other wildlife to enjoy.

Overall it was a 6 mile hike. I did not make it all the way to Lizard Rock, because it was getting really hot once I reached Wildwood reserve. The best part was when i retraced my steps back,  I could walk right back to my room and shower. I never needed to hop in a car all ‘dirt’y and sweaty. The hike is very level, with a few short uphills. It was a nice leisurely stroll on a warm day. I got some Vitamin D, tasty fruit, and exercise.

~~Chloé Edmunds~~


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