Hills & Mountains of LA

In June, and again in August, I spent some time in LA – a city many outsiders love to imagine as little more than a smog-ridden, traffic-overwhelmed sprawl. While it does have plenty of smog, traffic and sprawl, those of us who’ve lived there and learned to love the city know its many hidden jewels in the mountains and along the coastlines of California. With my friends George, Pierre and Ed I had the chance to enjoy two hikes along segments of the Backbone Trail, which follows the Santa Monica mountains to connect the uphill, inland portion of Will Rogers State Park (better known for the beach portion) to Point Mugu up the coast past Malibu. The hilly portions that are flowery and greener are from the June hike, and the drier ones are from the August hike. I’m also including some shots of a visit with my friend Gary to Descanso Gardens in La Canada Flintridge, at the base of the San Gabriel Mountains — the closeup of lavender berries, plus the shots above and below looking at big tall mountains in the background are from that visit. The sunset shot of a hilly arc of palm trees was taken in Gary and Rick’s lovely central LA neighborhood of Silver Lake. See how smoggy and ugly LA is!?

The backbone segments began or ended in Topanga Canyon, probably my favorite part of LA’s canyon country — home also to the Will Geer Theatricum Botanicum. Yes, if you visit LA, you should use this entry to help guide you to some of the more interesting and less-touristed sections than, say, Hollywood Boulevard. 🙂

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