July 02, 2010

Photo Essay: Climbing Hollywoodland

Ever since my first trip to Los Angeles, I'd always looked up at the Hollywood sign with a bit of wonder - not only about the land below that it signified, but the sign itself.

I had to get to it.

The hike to the top of Mount Lee isn't the longest or most strenuous hike ever, and it's the only surefire and legal way to get right behind those bright white letters and look through them down onto Hollywood.

But still, like any hike in the LA area, you just keep climbing and climbing a dusty road, the sun beating down on you. In southern California, even a hike that's considered "easy" is relatively strenuous for me.

The towers at the top of the mountain act as a beacon, even when you can't see the sign itself. You can also see Griffith Observatory peeking out from the next mountain over in Griffith Park.

There are practically no flowers, no wildlife save for a few lizards, and very few people past the first bend where you can snap a photo of yourself in front of the sign in the distance.

But once you're at the top, there are the letters.

I took a few minutes to cool off, the wind at a good velocity and the entire city beneath me. But once you get to the peak, to whatever you were climbing towards, what more can you do but say to yourself, "Well, there it is," and then climb back down?

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