Stan’s Obligatory Blog

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1/20/2019

Laurel and Hardy

Filed under: — stan @ 6:17 pm

Today’s bike club ride was Laurel and Hardy theme. The plan was to ride to North Hollywood to visit Ollie’s grave, and then to Forest Lawn to see Stan.

Right at the start, we had a small problem. Turns out today was the Pasadena Half-Marathon, and the course was using the Colorado bridge that we were planning on crossing. So we had to take a detour around. Then we got back on track and rode to NoHo.

After visiting Ollie, we headed south to Priscilla’s for snacks and drinks. Then we continued on to Forest Lawn. Stan’s grave is in the Court of Liberty, which is all the way in the back, high up on the hill.

The route home went through Griffith Park, down the L.A. River a bit, and then home by way of Highland Park and South Pasadena.

47 miles.

Route map and elevation profile

1/11/2019

Brown Mountain

Filed under: — stan @ 3:27 pm

Today was yet another furlough-cation hike for our little USGS and Forest Service group. This time, we did the Brown Mountain loop trail above JPL. It was cool, but still a nice day. The trail is very popular with mountain bike people, and we saw a lot of them along the way.

On the way up, Nicholas saw some old mylar balloons in the brush a bit off the trail. That got us started, and we were looking for more, and in the end he was able to find something like seven old balloons. When we got to the top, we sat down and had lunch. Then we continued on down the rest of the loop. We saw several deer crossing the trail ahead of us along the way. They ran away before I could get the camera out, but I did see some little hoof prints on the trail.

All told, this was a good way to spend yet another furlough day.

7.6 miles

Route map and elevation profile

1/9/2019

Josephine Peak

Filed under: — stan @ 5:40 pm

It’s now the third week of the government shutdown, and Karina is back in L.A., so we’re going on the traditional furlough-cation hikes. We did this during the 2013 shutdown, and it was a good way to fill the time.

Today’s hike was Josephine Peak. I’ve doing this one once before, but that was back in 1995, so it’s been a while. The trail is a fire road, so it’s not terribly difficult. The road wraps around the mountain, so we got lots of good views in all directions. At the top, we sat down for some lunch. There used to be a fire lookout at the summit, so the foundations of it made a good place to sit.

8 miles.

I forgot my GPS, so I don’t have a map this time.

12/31/2018

The Bridge to Nowhere

Filed under: — stan @ 7:22 pm

Since Lucinda and Melissa are both home from school right now, I suggested that we take a hike out to the famous “Bridge to Nowhere” at the Narrows on the east fork of the San Gabriel River. So today was the day. This was my third time doing this particular hike.

I had it lodged in my memory that we were supposed to have to cross the river four times, but in the end, it turned out to be six times. The river is higher than it was the other times I’ve been out there, which made the crossings a bit more difficult. In the end, I had to stop and take my shoes off to wade across about three of the crossings. Between that and losing the trail a few times along the way, the trip out there took longer than the other times. And when we got there, it was pretty cold and windy, so we didn’t spend much time at the Bridge. Coming back was a lot easier, though. We’d made all the mistakes on the way out, and so we were able to avoid them coming back.


12/30/2018

Rose Parade Preview

Filed under: — stan @ 3:26 pm

The L.A. Times had a photo a few days ago of a float for the Rose Parade being built at Fiesta Parade Floats in Irwindale. I looked up where it was, and it turned out to be right near the Irwindale Metro Rail station. I also knew of another shop where they build floats in Irwindale, and I also looked up the location where the city of Sierra Madre builds their float. And then we had a theme for the ride. The plan was to ride out through Sierra Madre, and go to Classic Coffee in Glendora, and the come home by was of Irwindale.

At the Rose Float Barn in Sierra Madre, we got a chance to peek inside and see the float being decorated. The one float shop that I already knew about in Irwindale wasn’t much to see. There was an awning with nothing under it, and just a sign that the float they’d built was parked over in Pasadena to be decorated. But the scene at Fiesta Parade Floats was pretty good. They had 8 or 10 floats under construction inside, and the door was open so we could see them. There was a big crowd of people there to help, and there were pallets of flowers outside, ready to be put on the floats. There were even about five local news trucks there, which I thought was funny, since the only time I ever see that many news trucks in one place is at Caltech after an earthquake.

40 miles.

Route map and elevation profile

12/23/2018

It’s a Wonderful Ride

Filed under: — stan @ 2:45 pm

Today’s bike club ride was our annual “It’s a Wonderful Life”-themed ride. It’s a combination of celebrity grave and movie location tours. The first stop was at Forest Lawn in Glendale to see James Stewart, since he was the actor who brought George Bailey to life. Then we went for snacks at Paradise Bakery in Glendale. The final stop was to see the house that was used for the Martini family home in Bailey Park. The brief scene of them moving into their new house was the only scene in the movie that was filmed on location. Finally, on the way back, we rode over Devil’s Gate Dam to have a look at how L.A. County is trying to dig out the sediment that has collected behind the dam.

39 miles.

Route map and elevation profilue

12/16/2018

The Cocoanut Grove Mural

Filed under: — stan @ 2:59 pm

This past week, I saw an article in the L.A. Times about how a neighborhood group in Koreatown wanted the L.A. Unified school district to paint over a mural on the wall of the RFK Community School. The mural depicted Ava Gardner and some palm trees, with a red and blue sunburst background. Apparently, they thought the sunburst pattern looked too much like the Japanese battle flag. Granted, Japan has a history of using Korea as their punching bag, and they have been behind a lot of bad things happening to Korea, but this seems like a bit of a stretch. But in any event, I thought we should go see it.

The route went through downtown and past USC. On the way into downtown, we stopped to see an AIDS memorial in the park just outside downtown. After passing USC, we headed north to Koreatown. We stopped to see the mural, and the for bagels at Noah’s in Larchmont. Then home by way of Chinatown and the Arroyo Seco bike trail. And just to top it all off, we saw the two-legged dogs again. It’s been several years since we first saw them, and if I didn’t have pictures from the first time, I’d think that they were just part of a weird fever dream. But we saw them again today.

44 miles.

Route map and elevation profile.

12/9/2018

Downey

Filed under: — stan @ 2:24 pm

Today’s bike ride was a trip to Downey to visit the oldest operating McDonald’s, and the to the Columbia Space Center museum to see the boilerplate model of the Apollo Command Module on display outside. We stopped for snacks at 3rd Street Coffee, and then came home by way of the Rio Hondo bike trail.

46 miles.

Route map and elevation profile

12/2/2018

Ciclavia Heart of L.A.

Filed under: — stan @ 6:44 pm

Today was the final Ciclavia of 2018. It was the “Heart of L.A.” route, which is basically from East L.A. to the west side of downtown. So the plan was to ride down to pick up the route in East L.A., and then ride through downtown, and then on up to Echo Park. We stopped for snacks and drinks at Valerie Confections in Echo Park, and then home by way of Highland Park and South Pasadena.

42 miles.

Route map and elevation profile

11/18/2018

Armistice Day

Filed under: — stan @ 8:38 pm

Last Sunday was the 11th, which we know as Veteran’s Day, but was originally Armistice Day, commemorating the end of the First World War. But the smoke from the Woolsey Fire was blowing east that day, so we ended up cancelling the ride. So this Sunday we did our Armistice Day ride. The theme was to go see a pair of memorials to the war here in Los Angeles. The first was in Pershing Square in downtown L.A. General Pershing was the commander of the U.S. forces on the Western Front in the war. The second was a grove of trees near Dodger Stadium that were planted in the 1920s in memory of the dead from the war. Aside from that, the route was just a meander around central Los Angeles.

47 miles.

Route map and elevation profile

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