It Sure Is Nice To Hike This Time of Year!

Look! I’m above the Hollywood Sign!

Martin-David-Hollywood-Sign

When I was in Colorado at Thanksgiving, it was full-on winter weather. It snowed the first couple days I was there, and temperatures hovered in the low 20s the whole time. I even ran a 5k on Thanksgiving Day, when it was 23 degrees!

I’m glad Jack Frost only got to nip at my nose for a few days. And I’m even gladder that, the rest of the time, I get to enjoy southern California weather, which allows for outdoor activities (without 17 layers of clothing) all year long.

Since returning from Colorado, I’ve taken full advantage of the climate by going on two awesome hikes. The more recent one was in Griffith Park, in the heart of Los Angeles, on a trail that lead to the top of Mount Lee, which is famous for being home to the Hollywood Sign.

My buddy Martin suggested the hike. He’s visiting from Denmark, and it was something he wanted to do while in town. (He’s the friend that brought me Dog Fart candy!)  I gladly said yes. In 13 years of living in Los Angeles, I’ve never climbed Mount Lee, and for no good reason. Oddly enough, I’ve climbed 2/3rds of the way on a couple occasions, years and years ago, but never managed to finish the hike. I suppose it was a much harder hike when I was 400 pounds.

There’s a couple different places you can start, and we met at the bottom of Bronson Canyon. From there, it was a little over 3 miles to the top. Spending time with Martin is fun and easy – the time flew by, and before we knew it, we were looking down at the whole city. This panorama is pretty sweet – you can click on it to see it bigger:

Above-Hollywood-Sign-Panorama

On the way down, I paused to get a picture of both the downtown skyline and Griffith Observatory. It’s rare that you can see them both at the same time.

Downtown-Skyline-Los-Angeles-Griffith-Observatory

Near the bottom, we took one more short detour, to visit the Bronson Caves. It’s the site of an old quarry that closed down about 90 years ago, where rock were blown up into gravel and used to make roads all over town. At some point, someone blasted some tunnels there, and since then, it’s been a very popular filming location for TV and movies, dating back to to the ’20s.

David-Martin-Bronson-Caves

That cave behind us is best known for being the Batcave in the old ’60s Batman TV series. I saw it a couple years back in a SyFy Channel cinema masterpiece called Mega Shark Vs. Crocosaurus, which is as wonderfully terrible as it sounds. It stars Jaleel White – URKEL!

The caves are fun for photos.

David-Bronson-Caves

All together, that hike took 2 hours, 50 minutes, and Martin and I covered 7.3 miles, with a 1,916 foot vertical gain.

A few days before that, I went hiking with my bestie Tavi and his dog, Luna. I took them to the May Canyon Truck Trail, which starts behind the Veterans Memorial Park in Sylmar. It has quickly become one of my favorite places to hike, after going there twice. The first time was with Luna, actually, when I dogsat her over Halloween weekend.

David-Luna-Tavi

I like that area, because there’s a paved fire road (closed to traffic) and unpaved trails that are more difficult, so there’s something for everyone. Here’s a perfect example: the fire road continues over my left shoulder, along a gradual, windy incline, but there’s a much more difficult trail over my right shoulder. Guess which way we went!

May-Canyon-Truck-Trail-Fork-in-Road

Like you even have to wonder. We went the hard way, and it was fun. We stayed on trails for a majority of the hike, and got pretty high up, too. This view is impressive…

David-Sylmar-Mountains-View

…but even more impressive in panorama! (And you can see the trail, off to the right, that we climbed up!)

David-Panorama-May-Canyon

You can click on that pic, too, to see it larger. Actually, you can click on any pic in any of my posts to see it larger!

This hike took an hour and a half, and we covered 2.9 miles. That’s 10.2 total miles in just two hikes!

Keep it up, David!

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