Not too long ago we bought a book called 60 Hikes Within 60 Miles. The within 60 miles refers to 60 miles from downtown Los Angeles. One of the first things a person doubtless notices after the death of a beloved pet dog is a dramatic reduction in daily exercise. Dogs are great for countless reasons but one not too obvious reason is that they like and need to take walks.
So book in hand we drove to Elysian Park this morning to hike the not quite two hour loop called the Wildflower Trail.
Elysian Park is the oldest park in Los Angeles and second in size to Griffith Park. In 1950 the park grudgingly made room for Dodger Stadium. The whole area is also known as Chavez Ravine.
The hardest part about this first of hopefully many hikes from our new book was finding the trail head. We finally started, we later learned, toward the end of the trail. That false start ended abruptly on what might have been Stadium Way. We never quite figured that out. So we back tracked and hiked the Wildflower Trail from end to beginning which we decided was one good way to find the trail head.
The hike was beautiful. The trail was not crowded but not empty with hikers and their dogs and everyone seemed happy -- even the Standard Poodle who did look a bit out of place on a dirt trail instead of on Fifth Avenue.
On this hike we could look down on the Golden State Freeway (the I-Five), down on the buildings of downtown Los Angeles, and down on the buildings of Glendale.
There were no wild flowers but there were plenty of birds and sunshine.
The next time I'm stuck in traffic on the Five I will think of the day I looked down on the whole thing.