this morning i decided to venture over to will rogers state historic park to hike the rustic canyon loop, which covers about 6 miles total. first thing to be aware of is, parking is a whopping $12 (!?!) to enter the park, so the ranger was kind enough to direct me to a spot a few hundred yards away where one can park for free. i hoofed it to will's old house, where the trail to inspiration point begins. it's a scant 0.9 miles up, so i wasn't too impressed yet with the climb or the view.
but there's a turnoff to the backbone trail leading into topanga state park, and that's where the fun began. about a 1/2 mile up, there's a neat wooden bridge that crosses over chicken ridge, until you hit an unmarked turnoff to head down rustic canyon. from there, it's a 1/2 mile downhill boulder-hopping until reaching a dilapidated cabin that rogers and friends used to kick it at.
from here it gets dicey. it's another 2 miles of hugging the streambed downstream to get back to the polo grounds of the park, but the trail kind of disappears and who knows where i was headed. luckily, i heard some voices nearby, so i asked for help and they invited me to come along. it turns out that they were a small group of expedition trekkers (www.trainingadventure.com), so instead of taking the easy way back to the park, they took me on a 2 mile detour of unsanctioned trails that only they knew, so we took turns running uphill and jumping over creeks in the wild country. let's just say that if i didn't run into them, i still might be there now.
the group was very friendly, and it turns out that some participated in the eco challenge (from mark burnett, before 'survivor'), some do triathlons, some do kayaking expeditions, etc., so it was a great mix of people that just love the outdoors. i'm definitely going to hit up their site and see if there are any upcoming events that i can join...