I was in the Los Angeles area to see my son run for Marquette in the Mt. Sac
Relays invitational. He was scheduled to run at 7p at El Camino College in
Torrance, giving me most of the day free. My right leg had been most
uncooperative the previous day and I struggled to complete some really short
hikes. Finding that Walmart was open late, I picked up a pair of crutches last
$35 to use today. My leg would have preferred to simply rest, but that's close
to impossible for me to accomodate while I'm on the road. Crutches in hand, my
leg would be pressed into service despite its vehement protests. I looked
climbing grassy hills with the crutches, but it had the advantage of soliciting
sympathy from the neighbors rather than their wrath. The peaks were all as
close to drive-ups as I could find in the county, a collection of rather dubious
"summits" I had left for a rainy day. Or an injury day, as the case may be.
This is a minor summit in the Verdugo Mtns, sandwiched between Interstate 210
and Foothill Blvd in a residential area. A water tank sits near the summit with
a gated service road
leading to the tower. Walking the road would make this a
snap, save for the two adjacent residences that don't like folks peering into
their yards from the road. At least one of the TR on PB indicated this. There
are numerous No Trespassing signs posted along the road, most of them not
placed by the LADWP who owns the land. As someone else pointed out, the ire
of the neighbors can be avoided by climbing the grass slopes
to the left of the service road. The grass was 4ft tall, making it difficult to
climb with the crutches and the ludicrousness of the situation was not
lost on me. It took me a bit more time than usual, but I managed to get to
the top, take a few pics of the water tank and views,
and get safely back down again. No upset neighbors.
Adams hill is located in the SE corner of Glendale, another residential summit.
There are two water tanks on the summit crest, the highpoint located adjacent to
the northern one. There is a service road off Scenic Dr, but it is gated and
adjacent to several residences. On the suggestion of others from PB TRs, I
used the ascent from Marion Dr going up a steep, grassy slope to the
southern tank, then following the service road to the
highpoint. It so happened that there were four service trucks and as
many LADWP employees. They were busy
manuevering trucks around the narrow road while a few emplyees dumped a gallon
of yellow liquid into the tanks (no doubt the same chemicals dispersed by
to control the population). They were very friendly and not the
least concerned by my appearance, a little amused by my crutches. After visiting
the highpoint, I saved myself some trouble by exiting through
the open service gate
and walking the residential roads back to the jeep, again looking a bit
ridiculous hobbling down narrow and steep, sidewalk-less streets with crutches.
This one is located in Griffith Park, just above the site of the old LA Zoo.
This was the hardest hike of the day, covering almost a mile each way with 500ft
of gain. The rock looks impressive from the parking lot with steep
cliffs on three sides. Though I was able to find the Bee Rock Trail
easily enough, I had some trouble keeping to it, and ended up on
a use trail that climbed more directly to Bee Rock with some class 2-3
scrambling, again made difficult with the crutches. The top of the rock is
surrounded on three sides with fencing to keep folks from falling to
their doom, but there are several breeches in the old fencing that allow one to
venture out onto the rocks for a more unobstructed view. I might have
done so myself, but thought the wiser of it considering my current condition.
There is a museum complex atop Olive Hill, a small bump located south
of Griffith Park. There are indeed olive trees along the lower flanks of the
peak, but a small forest of pine trees has been symmetrically arranged
at the top. The highpoint is occupied by a museum building
with a fence around it,
currently closed, but one can get equal to the highpoint by standing outside
the fence. No much in the way of views from the summit due to a lot of large
trees on the hill.
Not much to say or offer on this one. The highpoint is a massively
flattened mesa in the middle of a large industrial park on the south
side of Compton. No
real views or reason to visit it. The drive to reach it was particularly nasty,
going through downtown and some of the densest areas of the LA Basin.
Even adding new layers of freeway atop the old don't seem to help much
with the perpetual congestion. One has to love how the oil and car
industries like to display huge american flags on their properties as
if to signify they are as American as apple pie, and disparaging them is the
same as being unpatriotic.
Overlooking Long Beach, this small hill has some history to it, first (and
still) as a producing oil field going back a hundred years, and secondly as the
site of the first jazz-only radio station back in the 1950s. The summit is
mostly home to upscale residences these days, but there are still several large
telecom installations in service. The oil fields have not been retired
either, as there a number of producing wells doting the hill and surrounding
areas. There was even one in a parking lot of a shopping area that I
passed by. There is a monument to the oilmen of a mostly bygone age in
Los Angeles near where I parked on Skyline Dr. One can walk into the gated
community as there are no gates on the pedestrian accesses.
The highpoint is at an intersection inside
this development and rather disappointing. On clear days there are good views
from Skyline Dr (and the popular Hilltop Park to the west) of Longbeach and
San Pedro harbors, with the Pacific Ocean and Catalina as a backdrop.
I enjoyed the track meet at El Camino College in Torrance that evening. Ryan
ran a PR in the 10K event he participated in, finishing in 30:46. That's about
9min faster than I ever managed to run a 10K. Kids these days!
That's a crazy-fast 10k -- congrats! Sorry to hear about the leg, Bob. I hope it heals quickly.Keith Winston comments
Congrats on your sons PR. 18 min faster than my best. You continue to find new ways to inspire. Crutches! I thought hiking with a hamstring injury was crazy, but not crutches crazy.