Saturday, June 2, 2012

Photo Essay: Gabrielino Trail at JPL, to Gould Mesa Campground



When I embarked on the Gabrielino Trail in Altadena, near the JPL, I was looking for some rustic cabins that predated the area being designated a national forest...





I had no idea I would find so many wildflowers...







...and charming bridges...









...and vestiges of the populated area like old retaining walls along a thriving creek...





























With a few creek crossings...




...I made it as far as Gould Mesa Campground. I could've gone farther, but I was stopped by a family, whose father asked me, "You're not going to the campground, are you?"




"I'm going as far as the bathroom. Is that where the bathroom is?"

"Yeah, try to avoid it if you can. There's a psycho up there."



He then described a creepy vagrant who tried approaching his daughter and wife, and who became aggressive when confronted by the father. I thought of the pepper spray in my kitchen drawer instead of my hiking pack, and decided to go anyway.

When I got to the campground, I saw a thin, bedraggled man with a long, grey beard wandering away from the restroom. I made a beeline to pee, opening the door half-expecting to see him standing there, and when he wasn't, cut my hike short and hightailed it back the way I came.

But even though I didn't do as far on the Gabrielino Trail as I'd wanted to, I would return to another portion of it the next day...

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