My Halloween Weekend… In Pictures

I’ve got lots of photos, so I’ll try to keep my words brief. (Good luck to me – brevity isn’t my strong suit!) First, the biggest headline: I didn’t dress up for Halloween. I actually haven’t dressed up since 2011, when I went to a party as Jared Fogel (the Subway guy). Now, just thinking of him makes me shiver in repulsion and disgust, so… man oh man, do I know how to pick a costume!

The most seasonally festive thing I did this weekend was go to…

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a CORN MAZE! You all know how much I love mazes – I even sell my hand-drawn themed mazes on Etsy – so navigating my way through one was a blast.

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I went to Forneris Farms, 20 minutes from my house. They make (grow?) a maze annually, but I never knew about it until about a week ago. It takes up 4 acres, and the corn was 8 or 9 feet tall.

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I’ve never really gotten up close and personal with a cornfield before. I had wandered for 10 minutes before even realizing there were ears everywhere.

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They also had a contest, involving identifying dinosaurs on signs placed throughout the maze, but I didn’t play, because on the back of the entry form was a map of the maze, and I didn’t want to even be tempted to look at it. Maps are cheating! Turns out the paths of the maze made a big dinosaur image, although you’d never figure that out wandering the maze.

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It took me roughly a half-hour to solve. I used my Runkeeper GPS app, and my route through the maze was a little over 1/2 mile:

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My workout on Halloween morning was an awesome one. I met up with my friends Lisa, Veronica and Esteban (all of whom I met through stair racing) at the Swan Stairs in Silver Lake. I’ve trained here before, but not in a while, and not since they’ve been adorned with some fantastic murals.

swan-stairs-mural

There’s 287 stairs total, spanning three blocks, and there’s a couple long sections of 80 or 90 steps without any landings to pause on.  Here’s a good shot of a long section – don’t worry, I faked that fall! I climbed up and down them 6 times in about an hour, including two climbs that were all sprints, and one that was all box jumps. It was a pretty sweaty affair.

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But the murals brought a smile to my face each and every time I passed them – no matter how exhausted I was. They were done by an artist named Evelyn Leigh.

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Then, on Sunday, I kicked off November with a gorgeous hike. A nurse in my doctor’s office had recommended Veterans Park in Sylmar, so I went to check it out. It, like the maze, was about 20 minutes away, and yet I had never been there or heard of it!

Veterans Park turned out to just be the starting point for the hike, which was actually along May Canyon Truck Trail, a fire road that heads up into the Angeles National Forest. The fire road is paved, but there are many trails that branch off, and I picked one as soon as I could, and headed up towards a water tank perched above us. Oh, and did I mention I had a hiking partner?

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That’s Luna. I dogsit her occasionally, and she’s a great hiker. It took us no time to get to the tank, so we continued upward, along a great trail that snaked along the top of a ridge. Soon the water tank was well below us.

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And eventually, it could barely be seen in the distance.

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The trail we were on had some steep, precarious sections, but it eventually met up again with the fire road, and that worked out perfectly, because we ended up taking the hard way up, and the easy way down (the fire road). Luna and I covered 3.5 miles in 95 minutes, and gained 1,200 feet in elevation gain – not as much as the Palm Springs Tram Road Challenge I did last weekend, but not too shabby, either!

On the way home, I went to see something I’ve wanted to see for a long time. I thought it was in the neighborhood, but it turned to be a little farther away than I thought. That’s okay – it was worth the detour. Do you recognize this house?

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It’s the house from “E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial”! And, actually, apart from the trees being a whole lot bigger, the house looks almost exactly as it did in that movie, over 30 years ago.

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A fun pit stop after a fantastic hike, and timely, too, as Halloween is a major element in that movie.

Keep it up, David!

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