A hidden valley monument.
You may have heard of it, or maybe not. I once did and may have casually brushed it off.
On this given day, I once again scanned the web for a new walking trail turned hiking trail. It was meant to be a casual hike but a little climb never hurts. I stumbled upon Upper Las Virgenes Canyon Open Space Preserve. It's a mouth full, a good thing I don't have to make an audio of it.
Upper Las, is a large open space nature preserve, owned and operated by the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy, spanning nearly 3,000 acres. It has an educational history to it about the Chumash Native American tribe, one that is worth the read. Within this open space, lies the Cave Of Munit. Apparently, this cave belonged to a Shaman who was killed, after murdering the son of a very important chief. (Ahmanson Ranch)
Getting to the trail was not so much of an easy drive. My google map had the pleasure of taking me to the trail entrance of El Scorpion, at Vanowen, instead of the Victory trail entrance. After scanning through several online reviews, I found a reviewer that was kind enough to make things not so complicated, "Just take the Victory Blvd road, all the way down." It worked, the end of Victory is basically the trail entrance.
It was wide, open, and peaceful. I felt like I was walking into a hidden wonderland of endless routes. Destination unknown but I didn't care much, I kept exploring little steeps, forgetting my main mission, it was beautiful and quiet. Eventually, a particular route led me to the route towards the cave, it was time to head over.
It looked like the photos online but it was HUGE! I felt so little, I had never seen a cave so tall before, it was my first and hopefully, of many to come. Vanalden Cave had nothing to this. I was too excited and couldn't wait to climb in
There were people in there already. I wished for solitude but it wasn't so bad. A little part of my brain pondered on snakes but luckily, I had no interruption. It was strange and wonderful, being inside the cave and climbing even further to take in the view of the valley below. It was starting to get really hot and I reluctantly said my goodbyes.
On my way back to my vehicle, I took a different route that ended up taking me to not one, but two summit markers!!! I LOVE SUMMIT MARKERS!!!!!
It was a beautiful journey through Upper Las, I didn't get to explore all the trails but clearly, I found the goodies. Perhaps, when it is not so sunny, I shall return... perhaps.