Stan’s Obligatory Blog

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The Mt Lowe Railway tour

Filed under: — stan @ 12:26 pm

After doing the hike up Mt Zion two weeks ago, I was ready for more. Karina couldn’t go today, but Kathy could, so we made plans to meet up and do part of the Mt Lowe Railway tour. When I did this last fall with Karina, we walked up Echo Mountain and then all the way up to the location of the old Alpine Tavern. This time, the plan was to go not quite so far, but to make a loop of it.

We met up at the top of Lake Ave, by the Cobb Estate gate. From there, we walked down Loma Alta Dr to Chaney Trail and walked up that road to the actual start of the trail, which was the Sunset Ridge fire road. At the start, there was a sign with a map, showing the route of the old railroad, and some of the points of interest along the way. We took the fire road up the ridge to the Cape of Good Hope, where the fire road meets up with the old Mt Lowe Railway roadbed. From there, we turned and took the railroad route back down through Flores Canyon to Echo Mountain.

At Echo Mountain, we found a small spot of shade under a tree and had a look around. We were joined by Stella, who was hiking with another group. Like most dogs, she was happy to find a bit of shade to lie down in. Looking to the southwest, we could see the big plume of smoke from a brush fire burning in Silverado Canyon in Orange County.

On the way down, there was a sign asking for people to go to Facebook and ‘like’ the Friends of Echo Mountain. Apparently, if they get enough likes, they will get some sort of funding to do trail maintenance and other good things.

By the time we got down, it was getting pretty hot, but since we had started out at 7:15AM, it was only about 11:15 when we got down, so we missed the hottest part of the day. So overall, it was a fun hike.

Here’s the route map


Down to the wire

Filed under: — stan @ 9:43 pm

The big race up the U.S. Bank building is less than ten days away, and everyone suddenly thinks they need to get downtown and practice. So the line was extra-long today. I was only able to get in three climbs. The first two were reasonably consistent, but I didn’t even bother to time the third one. But I did bring along some Post-Its to hack the ‘DO NOT GO UP’ sign on the third floor landing.


Last few sessions

Filed under: — stan @ 9:23 pm

My goal for this evening was to do a set of four climbs up the building, trying for as even a pace as possible. I did this reasonably well last Wednesday, but this evening, it didn’t work out so well. Oh well, they can’t all be gems.


I wanted to try for a consistent pace tonight

Filed under: — stan @ 9:15 pm

Tonight’s stair adventure was yet another session at the Wells Fargo building in downtown L.A. Tonight, I wanted to try for four climbs, and to try and do a consistent pace for all of them. That meant not trying to go particularly fast the first couple times up. Last year, I was able to do this easily, but this year, it’s been a lot harder.

On the way through Union Station, I noticed that the monitor that’s supposed to display the Gold Line comings and goings, was instead just showing a screenful of error messages. At least Metro has the sense to be running Linux.

When I got to the building, I got in line, and headed up the stairs. I was aiming for my Vertical Mile pace, which is 4 1/2 floors per minute. In this building, that would get me to the top in about 11:45 or so. I went a bit faster the first time, but I was deliberately not pushing the pace. The second time, I was just about on pace. The third and fourth times, I was a bit off, but not by much. And my average for the four climbs works out to be almost exactly my target pace. So, overall, I’m not unhappy with this evening.

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