Monday, April 15, 2013

HIKING L.A.

We have lived on the same hill in the Los Feliz-Silver Lake area of Los Angeles for over forty years, and have hiked through many of the neighboring streets and parks.  For years we used to climb Mount Hollywood, up behind the Griffith Park Observatory, several times a week, pausing often at Dante's View to gaze out over the city.  More recently, we have fairly frequently walked around Silver Lake itself, enjoying the views of the reservoir and, particularly, the animal and bird life that thrives there.  There is always a variety of ducks swimming on the lake's surface, or waddling alongside; there are moorhens, too, and seagulls fly in from the ocean.  And on the west side of the reservoir there is a stand of eucalyptus trees, where blue herons love to nest, high up in the branches, or strut their stuff along the concrete that surrounds the lake.

Somehow, though, we never discovered the hiking trails in Elysian Park--until yesterday.  Ellie had read about them in the Los Angeles Times, and we followed the map to one of them that was published there.  We started out off Stadium Way and followed, first, a gentle climb...




... to the north and east, reaching a point that overlooked the Golden State Freeway and the Los Angeles River--now a flourishing green belt that is beginning to obscure the concrete into which the Army Corps of Engineers channeled it many years ago; and beyond, a vista of Glendale, Atwater, Glassell Park, and the slopes of Mount Washington.  A delightful sight, blighted only by the constant sounds of traffic reaching us from far below, where miniature cars and trucks sped north and south along the freeways.  

The trail then led up quite steeply, past a large water tower, to a garden area at the summit--where the water source from which we tried to provide George with a much-needed drink proved to be disconnected, producing only a great hissing sound instead of water.  The downhill stretch afforded great views of the downtown Los Angeles highrises...



... gleaming towers of steel and glass quite clear against the horizon despite the unusual absence of the Southern California sun.


Down below, the vegetation became quite lush and green...



... and we discovered a lovely park with extensive lawns and a playground where we can perhaps bring Luka one day to play on the swings and slides.

All in all, a lovely two-and-a-half mile walk.  It took us almost exactly an hour.  Then on to the Atwater Village market, where Ellie made a few purchases while I hovered on the outskirts with George (dogs not allowed!)  And home to have a bite of breakfast and get a few chores done, before settling on the balcony with my Sunday crossword and cigar.  (I take care to indulge in no more than one a week: for more than thirty years, I was addicted to cigarettes.)

We do not often spend our weekends in Los Angeles: our Laguna Beach cottage has a siren call.  But once in a while it's pleasant enough to spend the weekend here in town.  Our Saturday afternoon was spent on an art gallery tour, which might--who knows?--find space here on The Buddha Diaries in a future entry.

2 comments:

robin andrea said...

Looks like it was a lovely walk and a great way to start the day.

PeterAtLarge said...

It was! Thanks, Robin. Good to hear from you!