Stan’s Obligatory Blog


Earthquake Tourist

Filed under: — stan @ 4:58 pm

Since I promised Lucinda I’d take her to the JPL Open House tomorrow, I can’t do the regular Sunday ride. So I went for a ride today.

I decided to do La Tuna Canyon with a little side trip from Sue Hough’s book Finding Fault in California.

I started out going across Altadena on Woodbury Road. Then that turned into Oak Grove. That section of Oak Grove is part of the old Foothill Freeway that was built back in the early ’50s. When the present freeway was built, it was demoted to a regular street.

For the last few months, I’ve been hearing geese flying over our house. Southern California is a desert, and there is usually no water for waterfowl to enjoy. But there is apparently a nice big lake backed up behind Devil’s Gate Dam now. So I think this probably accounts for the recent presence of waterfowl.

From there, I went up the hill, through La Cañada, and then down Hospital Hill into Montrose. Then I took Verdugo down into Glendale.

I took Glenoaks across Glendale and into Burbank. There, I saw a sign in front of Bubank High School. Their prom is tonight, and it’s being held at the Skirball Museum. I think that sounds like a great place for a prom. If my high school had had its prom at a place like that, I might have even gone.

The north part of Burbank is a bit more industrial. It’s under the flight path for Burbank Airport. But I like watching airplanes, so it was all right.

Continuing on up Glenoaks, I crossed the border from Burbank into Sun Valley. At this point, the area started to look distinctly more downscale. It became an industrial area with lots of auto wrecking yards and used car lots with big signs promising “CREDITO FACIL”. The low point was probably passing the landfill. They had a big pipe stuck in the ground with gas flaring off of it. It was giving off a very strange smell. Not really the smell of putrefaction, but not a pleasant odor by any means.

Finally, I got up to San Fernando and the McDonald’s at 1955 Glenoaks. There is a small fault scarp caused by surface rupture in the 1971 San Fernando Earthquake. They just landscaped the scarp and made it look pretty.

Next, I headed back down Glenoaks, back the way I came. San Fernando really had the feeling of having taken a wrong turn and ended up in Mexico. There were lots of street vendors with carts selling pieces of fruit and grilled corn and such. That was also where I saw one of the “Los Angeles, CAMexico” billboards that people have been getting all riled up about. It was kind of strange. But that’s part of what I love about L.A. I can be a world traveler without going far from home.

At one point in Sun Valley, I happened on a street lunatic. He was standing on a corner yelling at nobody in particular. The light was red, so I pulled up and stopped. He looked at me and said, “Hello, sir” in a very pleasant voice. I smiled and said hello back. Then he turned back to facing nobody in particular and started screaming, “L.A. LAW!!! I’M A LAWYER!!!” Then the light turned green and I left. Have I mentioned lately that I love living in L.A.?

Also, I happened to notice KAOS Auto Parts. I had to stop for a picture, even though Siegfried wasn’t there. Agent 13 was probably hidden in the mailbox in front of the building.

After all this fun and frolic, it was time for the trip over La Tuna Canyon. This is a nice four-mile uphill ride through a part of Los Angeles that feels more like rural Nevada. Near the top, I passed a few other bike riders. I said something like, “Ain’t we got fun?” and they just laughed. It was also about here that I ran out of water. It was hot, so this was a problem.

Cresting the hill in La Tuna Canyon, I went down Honolulu Ave into La Crescenta. That was where I saw a sign for “Lauren’s Party” at a park entrance. I thought, “if they are having a kid’s party in this park, they must have a drinking fountain.” So I stopped and refilled my water bottle. Now all was right again for the rest of the trip home.

I went back up Hospital Hill and down past Descanso Gardens and back into Pasadena. It was a very nice ride.

53 miles.

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