IMG_2034This is Hollywood baby! The land where everything is the biggest, the best, and the most famous. Griffith Park does its part by being one of the biggest urban parks in the United States. It is a wild place to be sure, but not one of the most remote and unpopulated areas I hike.  Of course, the fact that Griffith Park’s high trails rise above and peer down upon the movie industry cityscape adds to its flare.  And what would a hike to see the Hollywood sign be without many fabulous, fit, and fashionable hikers to adorn the trail along the way?
The other day I took a little adventure to revisit my old stomping grounds.  I lived in Hollywood proper for around 15 years and loved hiking these dusty trails.  To step on them again after several years of raising children in Michigan was heaven.  It smelled like home, the crunch of yellow sand under my feet felt like home, and the sexy hikers on the trail in the middle of a weekday reminded me of just one more thing that’s beautiful about Los Angeles, the people.
I parked in Bronson Canyon and started walking. One could make an endless list of movies filmed in this canyon including: Star Trek VI (1991), Batman: The Movie (1966), and Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956).  TV shows filmed here include: Bonanza, Batman, Gunsmoke, The Lone Ranger, and Star Trek.  The human history of this canyon that does not include cameras involves mining.  In the very early 1900’s Pacific Electric Quarry operated in this area, which was then called Brush Canyon. Pacific Electric mined rock that was used to build the streets of Hollywood.

Rising up out of Brush Canyon Trail along Brush Creek, incredibly I saw water.  This is amazing because we are at the end of the dry season and all creeks are crying for rain. A trickle of water was seeping through a crack in the rock.  And growing happily nearby this underground water source was a Toyon (Hollywood) Tree heavy with bright red berries
The Mulholland Trail along the ridge between Mount Bell (to the right) and Mount Lee (to the left) spread its arms to a spectacular view of Los Angeles.  It was also exposed and hot!  I was surprised by this because lately I’ve been hiking in cool comfort and the weather report called for high winds so I was expecting to be chilly.  Oh no.  It was 82 degrees if it was anything.  Its a good thing I brought my trusty silver umbrella.  I can hike any time of day in any weather with my portable shade.
Once in view of the Hollywood sign I had a shirtless hippy take my picture.  You can see how warm I was in the picture above because the vein in my forehead is popping out.

All the way back down the mountain I mentally relived my 20s and assessed the 20-somethings out that day.  I’d love to go back in time and relive the glory days, but I’m also glad to be where I am now in life.  For starters, when I was in my 20s I worked about 50 hours a week in an office.  Now I have the freedom to enjoy the outdoors in the middle of the weekday, a luxury I rarely had when I was younger.  I walked past my parking area to the trailhead to the Bronson Caves just a hundred feet on.  A short hike up the trail took me to the caves.  Incredibly, for all the hiking I did in this area years ago, I never ever visited the Bronson Caves (aka The Batcave because it was used as the Batcave in the TV show Batman).  I always wanted to go see it, but I didn’t know where the trail was and in those days we didn’t have internet and apps that enable strangers to show us where to find this stuff.  People kept telling me, “Its just right up there.”  Well, it was “just right up there”, but where up there, I did not know.  So now at this late date I get to discover and visit a new landmark giving fresh perspective to an old friend.

This is a great view of the Hollywood sign from The Batcave.
Janathon stats for the day: 4.75 miles

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