June 19, 2011

Photo Essay: A Sunset Stroll Up Mt. Hollywood

There is more than one way to climb a mountain.

Friday night, I experienced the third way to climb Mt. Hollywood in Griffith Park.

I'd wanted to do a group activity so someone could show me a new hike in Griffith, whose 50+ miles of trails are still largely a mystery to me, having only scratched the surface of them in the last year. We met in the north parking lot of the Merry Go Round - a huge group of us, making photographing the scenery difficult not only to avoid people in my shots, but to avoid creating bottlenecks along the narrow trail while I dawdled with my new camera - and set off on the little-known "Lingerie Trail," a steep climb along tree roots and through lush vegetation.

It was touted as a "full moon hike," but with a 6:30 p.m. meeting time shortly before the summer solstice, we had plenty of sunlight to get to the top, and plenty of time to loiter while the sun set behind the Hollywood Sign.

I watched the sun set and then quickly left most of the group behind to join a few hikers back down the mountain in the dark, but I never got to see the full moon. I followed the glow cast by a flashlight somewhere in front of me, and the sound of voices behind me telling us where to turn, but otherwise, I was pretty much barreling blindly down the hill. When I returned to the parking lot, I realized that parking my car in the more familiar south end of the Merry Go Round lot was  mistake not only because of its distance from the hike's starting point, but because of the pitch black absence of street lights.

Luckily, though I was willing to continue fumbling in the dark, a fellow hiker offered me a ride back to my car, where I changed my clothes in the dark to get ready to start my Friday night...

Photo Essay: Franklin Canyon Night Hike

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