GRIFFITH PARK – A Lesson in Hiking

I HAD A BRILLIANT IDEA!  On a recent visit to Costco, I noticed a book that caught my eye. “Day Hikes Around Los Angeles.”  I quickly grabbed the book and headed to the cashier.  Unable to suppress my excitement, I eagerly paged through the book as I walked.  There they were…hike…after hike…after hike, each with vivid details of what to expect.  After a few days of careful consideration, I had made my decision!  Hike #81 – Griffith Park Observatory to Ferndell Park.  It promised 2.5 miles of wonderful terrain with only 500 feet of elevation change.  OK, 500 feet of elevation change – no problem, I thought.  Can someone tell me if 500 feet of elevation change is difficult?  Wait a minute – I couldn’t tell you Saturday morning, but I can surely tell you now.  YES, 500 FEET OF ELEVATION CHANGE MAKES A 2.5 MILE HIKE VERY DIFFICULT!

Upon parking the car (which by the way added an additional mile to the hike) we headed uphill to the observatory.

This was our first glimpse of the Griffith Park Observatory.

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A view of the Hollywood sign from the observatory promenade.

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After a brief self-guided tour, we began our journey – down…down…down.

Having only begun our hike, I turned to get this shot.  As you can see, we’re already considerably lower in our elevation.

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Of course as we continued our hike, I managed to capture the only level section of the trail.  I knew you were thinking, wow – that doesn’t look so difficult!

By this time, I was really beginning to wonder if I was going to shoot anything remotely green…or alive.

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This dead tree didn’t offer much encouragement as we continued our descent.  Yes, this is what a dead tree looks like from an ant’s perspective looking up.

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But then out of nowhere, we magically passed from death into life – so to speak.  I couldn’t believe my eyes!  In only a moment of time we had entered an outdoor room draped with life in a very beautiful way.

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Almost completely hidden from the outside world, numerous footbridges crisscrossed our path.

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A small creek joined us as we entered this oasis.  Complete with waterfalls (no doubt due to the steep elevation change.  I didn’t want you to forget the difficulty we faced with every step.  Of course, going back would prove to be much more difficult), this creek bordered our path the entire length of this small paradise.

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Just one example of the beautiful flowers.  Hey!  Did someone crash this photo – peeking out from inside the upper right bloom?

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A seemingly ancient arched bridge somewhat abandoned by the hurried crowds only a few miles away.

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Isn’t this a wonderful aged block wall bordering our path?

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Another foot bridge – another waterfall…I know it seems repetitive, but each one was unique.

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This beautiful bloom required a climb to the top of a three-tier wall to get above the plant.  I think it was worth the climb – although at the time, I was wondering.

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WOW!  This guy fluttered right past my head, then landed for a rest – almost posing as if he was begging to make a special appearance in my blog!  No doubt he needed a rest, too, from the steep descent.

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What a magnificent tree majestically stretching to the sky.  It almost seemed out of place among the smaller vegetation.

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This waterfall actually provided a home for a school of colorful fish in the small pond at the base of the falls.  You’ll have to use your imagination to picture the fish – I was unable to publish a shot of them – they refused to sign my appearance release form.

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All right, who plugged these flowers into the electrical outlet?  These beauties seem to be lit up!

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Sadly, all good things must come to an end.  It’s time to start back…up…up…up!

This dead tree served as a quick reminder that we had left the small greenhouse-like oasis.  Dead yet standing proudly, I wonder how many hikers have passed this way over the lifetime of this tree.

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Huff…huff…huff…

The Hollywood sign meant we were on the right trail, but still a long way to go – and it was all uphill.

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A quick stop to capture a photo of Los Angeles provides a great example of the hazy day we faced.  I’ve learned that haze and overcast conditions are great for flora and portraits – anything close up, but obviously not very good for landscapes.  I’ll have to come back here on a clear day.

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Nearing the end of our hike, you may notice from this shot behind the observatory, the cloud cover is diminishing.

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My final shot of the day was my last glimpse of the observatory facade as we made our way back to the car.

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My brilliant idea – well, I thought it was going to be the end of me at times.  Let me tell you – that 500 feet of elevation change…it was difficult.

That’s it for this trip.  I hope you’ll join me again next time!

All photography is original and falls under the protection and copyright of this blog

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~ by photographyfree4all on June 14, 2010.

3 Responses to “GRIFFITH PARK – A Lesson in Hiking”

  1. Made me feel like I was taking an enchanted journey with you. Made me feel like I was going back in time…cool.

    Like

  2. I really like your photos. I always look forward to your next post! Have you decided on your camera, yet? The T2i is a great camera.

    Chad

    Like

  3. Happy Birthday!! Great pictures!!!! Why do you need a new camera? These are amazing photo!!! I am enjoying your journey very much

    Like

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