October 08, 2012

A Travel Town Birthday in Griffith Park

[Last updated 8/11/21 7:37 PM PT]

"So where do you want to go on your birthday?" Edith asked. She'd come all the way from New York just for my birthday, and although I wanted to be a good host, she'd requested no particular amusements, deferring to the birthday girl.

But it would make me happy to make her happy.

"Well, there is this place called 'Travel Town'..." I trailed off.

"Go on..."

I'd been considering going alone for quite some time, it being one of the only remaining areas of Griffith Park I had not yet visited.

But recalling our mutual history riding trains (to Mexicoto Brooklyn) and hiking rail trails... was my best suggestion of something we could do on her last day in LA that we would both enjoy equally.

And there was probably nothing I'd rather do on my birthday than go to Griffith Park.

Travel Town consists largely of old box cars, passenger cars, engines, and cabooses in a rail yard, parked along an actual historic, abandoned rail line. 

Update 8/11/21—I recently found out that Travel Town is the former site of a Civilian Conservation Corps camp (CCC Camp Riverside), which was transformed into an internment camp—Griffith Park Detention Camp—after the bombing of Pearl Harbor and remained so until 1947, when the site reverted back to the park. [Thanks to Friends of Griffith Park for the info.]

It's actually one of three rail-centric attractions in Griffith Park...

...which seem to be designed mostly for family entertainment.

Its tiny size did not keep me nor Edith off "The Courage," a miniature locomotive you can ride for 3/8 of a mile around Travel Town, twice.

I might've gone to Travel Town on my own anyway, but I wouldn't have swallowed my pride to hop on the Travel Town Railroad alone.

Fortunately, on my birthday, I had a rail-friendly companion.

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