So. It’s been awhile. Aka our journey to Jim Morrison’s cave.

I haven’t posted in the blog for…well…a thousand years.
We’ve hiked, loved, learned, lost and have grown in the last year. As we all know I love hiking, I love adventuring with the kids and I love taking pictures of the people I love in the great big outdoors. That’s part of the reason I could never be a “professional” photographer. I only like taking pictures of what I like and I don’t follow the formula of what makes a good composition in a picture. I don’t even know if that’s phrased correctly, see! I even lack terminology. 
Also, I’m lazy.
So Kap and Co have been fighting some intense colds that they caught somewhere so my original hiking plan fell by the wayside because it contains river crossings and a lot of miles. My second choice was at too high of an elevation for their awful post nasal situation so we went with choice number three, an easy 2-3 miles to Jim Morrison’s Hideaway in the Malibu area.  

 Getting there is pretty easy if you follow these directions http://www.newgirlsguidetola.com/do–see/jim-morrison-cave. I stumbled upon her site accidentally and I was so glad I did. The topographical picture showing where the cave is in comparison to the spiral rock formation helped us get there fairly easily and then we were able to help about 6 other people get there. 

The entrance is tight and not for the claustrophobic (I’m VERY claustrophobic so I only got brave on my second try). 

 FYI this graffiti saying this is not the way to the pink cave is a liar. Tricky tricksters.

 Kap and Co did not want to go in the cave but they LOVED the sandstone formations that are sprinkled around this trail.  

    
 Kap kept climbing to the top of various rocks and exclaiming “this is so cool!”. Which as a mom that has to sometimes drag her kids on hikes that’s music to my ears. 

By the way I totally don’t like The Doors. I tried. 
Just, meh. 
But! 

Cool cave Jim, 

cool cave.

 
  

  
Picture by Cohan

    
   

Picture by Brayden

The spiral rock formation made by who knows who is pretty great and really close to the cave 

 

  Picture by George

 

Ps I recommend getting there EARLY (we left our house by 6:30 which had us at the trail head by 7:30). By the time we left between 10-10:30 there were about 12 cars in the lot and a swarm of people. 

In other words, no thank you. 

So go early! 

Unless we plan on going then you can head down around 10 or 11.

  

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Part II: The ghost town that you can’t explore but has a surprisingly lovely (and easy) hike and the wonderful Mission trip that was spoiled by a wannabe Kardashian wedding.

After we left Mentryville we headed to San Fernando Rey de EspaƱa http://www.missionscalifornia.com/keyfacts/san-fernando-rey.html a mission that I’m ashamed to say I didn’t even know existed (apparently I forgot my state history from the 4th grade).
It’s free to park but it’s a $5 admission for adults and $3 for kids up to the age of 15. It is a VERY well preserved bit of history and the kids were awe struck at how real everything seemed and how it has been maintained. Walking through the Convento and into the Madonna room and through the workshops was incredible (albeit dusty).

We couldn’t wait to get to the church and into the gardens and cemetery where we could see bursts of color through the breezeway of the church doors….and stopped cold when a very sparkly short dress with very big hair and a lot of makeup walked out. Next to me I heard Kap say “I think it’s a Mexican wedding” I thought to myself “she looks more like a bad Kardashian” but the mariachi band warming up made me realize how Kap reached that assumption.
Darn it. We couldn’t go in the church. Darn it. It’s the only way into the garden.
Darn it I can’t be too cranky at these people because I’m sure it’s an epically beautiful spot to create a forever…

We resigned ourselves to coming back another time but still left feeling awed and impressed.
Another successful adventureday!

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The ghost town that you can’t explore but has a surprisingly lovely (and easy) hike and the wonderful Mission trip that was spoiled by a wannabe Kardashian wedding.

For today’s adventure I wanted a Halloween type feel that had an whimsical, explorer vibe. Finding a ghost town seemed to be the perfect solution!

We’ve been to Calico and to Pioneer town so I suppose a part of me was expecting Mentryville (located outside Santa Clarita in the Santa Monica mountains) to be as open to explorers as those locations. $5 to park that accepts cash or check (they work on a drop envelope system) and you’re in.
I was aware that there are a lot of restorations going on (and good for them) HOWEVER: you can only walk up the steps of the school house, can’t go inside and only kinda peek at the large house behind the vehicle fence that takes up most of the area. *tries to hold back bummed sigh*

Don’t get me wrong I wouldn’t trust a bunch of hoodlums either but it’s during park hours for crying out loud and a caretaker or ranger of sorts lives on the property. *now I can sigh*
So we decided to hike and went on a quest for bathrooms. The roads are well maintained and paved and the vegetation is stunning. We were told there were bathrooms a mile up the trail by two very nice Armenian gentlemen. We arrived and were staggered by the smell, Kap was desperate though so we tried the door anyway. Locked.
It crossed my mind that maybe this particular area was part of the government shutdown?
Regardless, we handled it.

Moms if you don’t know how to relieve yourself in the wild you’re setting your daughter up for failure. Learn how and pass the education along. You’ll never know when she’ll need it.

We walked on and thoroughly enjoyed the scenery and the feeling of being surrounded by the hills. We took turns having races and were flushed and grinning as we headed back to indulge in the picnic I packed. I tried the abandoned schoolhouse door just to try, still locked. *double sigh*
All in all we had fun and I think I was the only one that had expectations so we got a 4 mile hike in and had some laughs http://www.lamountains.com/parks.asp?parkid=35

now on to the Mission!

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