Baldwin BM

Sun, Mar 23, 2014
Etymology Story Photos / Slideshow Map GPX

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I was spending the weekend in LA with the family for a volleyball tournament. While I'm no fan of spectator sports in general, I enjoy watching my daughter play very much. The only downside is that there is no exercise for the fans and a great deal of sitting around. I had to drive my wife from downtown where the tournament was being held to LAX so she could catch a flight home on Sunday after a morning's worth of volleyball. I was in need of a fix, so I looked around for something that might constitute a summit. The only thing that shows up on my maps between downtown and LAX is the Baldwin Hills. It would have to suffice. The 500-foot hills have been historically used for the extraction of petroleum, probably a more economically lucrative use rather than the multi-million dollar homes it might otherwise attract. But without those homes covering it, and if one doesn't mind a little industrial eye-sore, the Baldwin Hills can be home to some nice recreation. The Kenneth Hahn Park is the centerpiece of a popular park network that occupies much of what isn't covered by pumpjacks or residential areas. There are jogging and bike paths, a weight training circuit, picnic areas, fine views and more. What you don't get is easy access to the highpoint which is situated just outside the park under a water tower surrounded by a fence. Though not insurmountable, the extra effort to do so doesn't buy you more than a foot or two of height and possibly the benchmark that is reported to be in the area. I found parking on the northeast corner of La Brea Ave and Stocker St and walked about half a mile to find the location of the highpoint. Not exactly a workout, but at least I was outside...

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