Sunday, September 11, 2011

Photo Essay: Trail Use Not Recommended

I first spotted the Owl Trail in La Cañada Flintridge last year, before I moved to LA, when I hiked the nearby Descanso Trail that loops around Descanso Gardens. I made a mental note to go back.

It took me long enough, but I made it there last Saturday after my little house-hunting excursion in the foothills.

But when I got there, I was greeted with a warning: Trail Use Not Recommended.



I wondered how back it could be. Could it be worse than Runyon Canyon, whose severe erosion is a danger to man and beast alike?



After all, the beginning of the trail looks woodsy enough...



Innocuous, in fact...



Until you hit the last .02 mile of the hike, which trail guides warn are steeply graded.



Facing the equivalent of a gravelly luge run, and considering tackling its vertical course upstream, I wondered for a moment if I should turn back.

But it was only two tenths of a mile...Two tenths is nothing, it's like four minutes of a normal walk.

Besides, what was on the other side?? (Recalling my fishing trip when I was told to throw the red-winged sea robin back in, and I pleaded, "But what does it taste like??")



Perhaps unfortunately for me, not only did the Owl Trail deposit me back at the Cherry Canyon Motorway where I'd completed my Descanso Trail hike (and where I was conveniently parked this time around), but it revealed a whole network of other trails, fire roads and motorways to be explored.



Perhaps for the next trip...perhaps next year.

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