Stan’s Obligatory Blog

Happy Halloween

Page 2 of 2«12

7/10/2011

Fern Dell for the summer

Filed under: — stan @ 8:35 pm

It’s summer now, which means it’s time to go to Fern Dell and visit The Trails cafe. It was a nice morning, but promised to get hot later.

We rode down into Los Feliz and then up into Griffith Park. I looked away for a moment on the climb up to the observatory, and Tony was gone. I spent the rest of the climb chasing him, and I never did catch him before the top. We regrouped at the observatory and then headed down the hill to The Trails. It was a perfect day to enjoy sitting at the table surrounded by big trees. It was quite idyllic. Then we headed back up the hill.

At the big junction by the tunnel, the sign warned us about possible wild animals in the park, including rattlesnakes and mountain lions. No tigers or bears, though.

We headed up Mt Hollywood, and once again, I’d swear that the hill had grown since the last time we rode there. We regrouped again at the top, and then headed down the other side. I stopped at one point to get some action shots of everyone coming around one of the turns. Then we met up again at the bottom, where we saw the miniature horse.

From there, we rode down the hill, past Travel Town, and then down the L.A. River bike path. Then back home up Figueroa and across South Pasadena.

It was a nice ride.
45 miles.
cycling

7/9/2011

History is all around us

Filed under: — stan @ 8:06 pm

This morning, I went for a little bike ride while it was still early and cool. I did my usual 30-mile ride that doesn’t go anywhere in particular. But there was a small sightseeing stop today.

I’d been reading the list of places that are in the National Register of Historic Place in Los Angeles County. And I saw that they Pacific Electric Substation was only a 1/2 block detour from my route. In fact, it’s right next to my vet’s office, and I’d never noticed it before. So I decided to go see it today.

I rode down into Temple City and then across San Gabriel and Alhambra, and then up the back side of the hill to the South Pasadena Water tower. I got a picture up there with the help of a flat-topped mailbox. From there, I went up Arroyo and around the Rose Bowl. There was something going on there that involved large numbers of young women running. Nothing not to like about that.

I rode up into Altadena for the trip home. At Lake, I went right a half a block to see the old substation building. It was a very quaint old building. Then I continued on home.

It was a fun little ride.

Here we go again

Filed under: — stan @ 12:24 pm

It’s time to start practicing again. The U.S. Bank stair climb is coming up in September. This will be the first event of the fall stair climbing season. And it’s my chance to see if I can improve on my 14:34 time from last year.

Yet, I know that when I get to about the 45th floor, I’m going to be thinking, “OMG what-the-HELL-was-I-thinking-when-I-signed-up-for-this.” It happens every time. But I keep coming back. Because it’s fun.

7/7/2011

Shakespeare in the Park

Filed under: — stan @ 11:34 pm

Last summer, Kathleen and I used to have picnics at the Old Zoo in Griffith Park. And while we were there, we saw the Independent Shakespeare Company doing their summer show in the park. We were having a picnic there last week, and we saw the rehearsals, so tonight we decided to go back and have another picnic and see the show.

The show was a reinterpretation of “The Merry Wives of Windsor“, set in 1920s London. The show got a good review in the L.A. Times. Neither of us is especially familiar with Shakespeare’s plays, but we looked up some information about it beforehand, and Kathleen brought up a synopsis of it on her iPhone, so we were able to refer to that at times when it wasn’t clear what was happening.

All in all, it was a very fun evening.

7/4/2011

Echo Mountain for the 4th

Filed under: — stan @ 11:58 pm

Tonight, Kathleen, Lucinda, and I hiked up Echo Mountain above Altadena to watch the fireworks. Apparently, this is a popular thing to do, since there was a pretty big crowd headed up the trail. It’s about 2 1/2 miles to the top, and by the time we got there, most of the prime picnic spots were taken. But we managed to find a reasonable place to set up, and we had a little picnic while we waited for the sun to go down.

When night fell, we could see the entire Los Angeles basin laid out in front of us. And we could see people setting off backyard fireworks all over the city. Some of them were quite large. But when it got to be 9:00, the big fireworks shows started. The one at the Rose Bowl was the closest to us, but we could see them going on all the way down to Long Beach, which is something like 35 miles away as the crow flies. We could also see a big show going on at Dodger Stadium, which was just in front of the downtown skyscrapers, and another show going on just beyond downtown. It was kind of strange to see the fireworks peeking through the gaps between the big buildings.

I’d brought a light tripod, and I set my camera up on it. I set it on the timer, and had it take several shots at a time. There’s no way to hold the camera steady enough without a tripod, and it’s best if I’m not even touching it when it’s shooting, so I just had it snap away by itself. And I got some nice pictures just by random chance.

When it was all over, everyone headed back down the trail at the same time. The hike down was like driving the 405 on a Friday afternoon. Lots of stopping and waiting. But it was still a fun little adventure, and I think we’re going to do it again next year.

7/3/2011

Up the mountain

Filed under: — stan @ 5:35 pm

I had heard from the Caltech cycling people that Glendora Mountain Road was going to be closed to cars this weekend. This is a nice treat for us, even though I’m pretty sure that’s not why they were doing it. Most likely, it’s to keep the locals from driving up the mountain and setting it on fire with July 4th fireworks. Still, it’s a nice chance for us to have the road to ourselves.

We rode out to Glendora and headed up the hill. We had to stop briefly to hoist our bikes over the gate, but that was a small price to pay to have the quiet mountain road to ourselves. On the way up the hill, we saw many, many other riders coming down. Apparently, there were a lot of other cyclists who had the same idea today.

It’s been several years since the last time I’ve been up this hill, and I think that I’ve only ridden all the way up the hill once before, because the hill was a lot longer and harder than I’d remembered it being. I suppose that last winter’s rains might have made the mountain grow, but that seems a bit unlikely. It’s also possible that I may have shrunk after turning 50, but that also seems a bit far-fetched. Most likely, it was just faulty memory on my part. In any event, the hill was about twice as long and hard as I’d remembered. This was likely due to the fact that the last two times I’ve been there, we were not able to ride all the way up. Adding to the experience was the fact that it was pretty hot by the time we were heading up there, so all that came together to make it a bit of an experience.

When we got to the top, we stopped and sat in the shade for a bit before heading back down. On the way down, I stopped and had a look at a small memorial for Kevin Unck, who was killed in a cycling accident there last January.

When we got back to the bottom, we went looking for some water. We didn’t find any immediately, but then David spoke to some people we saw leaving their house. He asked if we could use their hose to fill our water bottles, and the agreed. They also told us to have some oranges from the tree in their front yard, and those were easily the best oranges I’ve had in years.

The ride back was pretty uneventful. By then it was very hot, and the trip back became a bit of a Retreat From Moscow, but we made it all right. We stopped for a snack and drinks at Merengue in Monrovia. Then we pushed on for the final seven miles home.

It was a nice ride, even though we were all dragging a bit by the end.

56 miles.
cycling

7/2/2011

Random Saturday morning bike ride

Filed under: — stan @ 4:53 pm

This morning I had a couple of free hours to go for a ride. So I did a variation on my I-have-a-couple-of-free-hours bike route. As always, I was on the lookout for anything vaguely amusing.

I saw Pink Moving. And yup, that’s Pink all right.

I added a little bit extra in Arcadia to stretch the route out slightly. In the process, I saw that the topiary swans at the corner of Camino Real and Baldwin won some sort of award.

The sign when I rode into San Gabriel said “Dedicated to George Kennedy”. I looked it up, and this is apparently referring to George H. Kennedy, who owned Kennedy Outdoor Advertising in San Gabriel, and not George Kennedy as seen in such films as “Airport”.

And in several towns, I saw that the fireworks stands are up and in business. They’re sort of like the mayflies of the business world, since they are only allowed to be open for a few days every year.

I rode up the hill to the South Pasadena water tower, and then home by way of the Rose Bowl and Altadena. It was a pleasant ride.

30 miles.
cycling

Page 2 of 2«12

Powered by WordPress