Wednesday, August 18, 2010

An Embarrassing Admission

My wife and I are going on a mule pack trip in a few weeks, into the high country of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Kathy has already gone on two mule pack trips this year, and this will be the first I've ever done. Kathy keeps in shape for these trips with weekly hikes to the top of Mount Hollywood each Tuesday night.

Perhaps this is an admission I shouldn't make, since I'm a great fan of Los Angeles, where I have lived most of my life. I have never made the pilgrimage to the summit of Mount Hollywood. Not until last Tuesday night, with Kathy and her friends.

Mount Hollywood sits atop the 4,210 acres of Griffith Park, one of North America's largest urban parks, much of it vertical. A network of trails – 33 miles' worth – cross-cross the park, which was created when the entrepreneur Col. Griffith J. Griffith, donated the land to the city, in 1896. Griffith also funded the Greek Theater and Griffith Park Observatory, both city landmarks. The city wouldn't accept Griffith's money until well after his death, because he'd shot and seriously wounded his wife, and then spent some serious time in jail.

A variety of trails lead to the summit; the ones we took had some steep sections, and some of the best views of the Los Angeles area I have ever seen from on high.

We could hear coyotes howling near the end of the day; we could see this harmless, and goodly-sized tarantula as it scuttled away from the trail.

The city of Glendale and the San Gabriel Mountains are a spectacular backdrop to the trail we took; there were lots of hikers besides our group, including this couple, above.

Griffith Park sits at the eastern edge of the Santa Monica Mountains. One of the several Transverse Ranges of Southern California, the Santa Monicas bisect the city, separating the Los Angeles Basin from the San Fernando Valley.

Above – the view from the summit: the Griffith Park Observatory overlooks the Los Angeles Basin.

Above: Another look toward Glendale as the sun began to set in earnest.

While I am in great shape for cycling, I'm a little sore tonight. Trying to keep up with Kathy and her friends, I made some of the muscles I don't use much undergo a fairly strenuous workout.

The view from the top of the mountain was worth the minor discomfort; I'll have another few chances to enjoy Mt. Hollywood before our hike into the High Sierra.

I have climbed a hundred peaks and more in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. There will be a chance to view the landscape from the summit a 13,000+ foot peak on our upcoming trip. Will the view from the top of that peak compare with the view from the summit of Mt. Hollywood?

Note: Click on pictures for larger-sized versions.

1 comment:

Yvonne said...

nicely done, Dave. I recognized my hat in one of your last pictures. Come back and join us again, even after the McGee trip.