Monday, March 9, 2015
Hike 2015.013 -- Kenneth Hahn State Recreation Area, Baldwin Hills, CA
I guess it's been about 2 1/2 years since my first and only previous visit to Kenneth Hahn State Recreation Area.
It's not really what you'd expect a state park to look like. I mean, it's nice and all, and there is some historical significance to the location. But, for the most part, it's just a park with a nice view.
Unfortunately, the clouds were so thick that I had no real clue as to exactly where I would need to go to get Mt. Baldy (Mount San Antonio) behind the DTLA skyline.
Still, I knew even without being able to get or perfectly scout my shot, I was going to have plenty of space to walk. I knew trails went around the park and across several section so of the park, so I'd have no shortage of options. So I drove to the park on a weekend afternoon, even knowing there'd be an entrance fee. And I parked at the first lot I came to, because I was here mainly to walk, anyway.
Near the north-western end of this "upper deck" of park, several trails wind their way down towards the entry road level. I stayed on the widest one, which I assumed to be the "main" trail, though several others criss-crossed it on the way to that lower level. Once at that lower level, I stood along the road and parking area, and tried to figure out where the Japanese garden had gone. I determined that the wide path I had taken lands at this lower level somewhat to the south of the trail I had taken on my previous visit here. So I knew if I headed back to the north, I'd reach the garden pond, and that, a bit north of that, there would be a waterfall.
I played with composi-tion a great deal here, trying to take photos that masked the presence of the fence, and of the very intrusive signage near either bridge.
I also took several pictures of the weird-looking torii (arches). They just seem shaped wrong compared to actual Japanese torii.
From the Japanese garden, I continued north, to the waterfall. At the waterfall, I took a slightly steeper trail that headed back to the "upper deck," past those verandas Then I walked the rest of the way around the bowl, back towards the upper parking lot. Along this section of the bowl, there were views to the west, to the ocean, with sunflowers in the park and oil fields in the near distance.
This trail was called the "East Ridge Trail," and continued all the way to Stocker Blvd, at the south end of the park.
[The A and 2 thing is a joke; I forget where I got that from].
About four days later, on a weekday afternoon, when the skies were finally mostly clear, I returned to get the shot I wanted. There's a bit of haze, but I'm temporarily satisfied with the shot. If there's a clearer afternoon when I don't have other commitments, I may try for this shot, again.
I also observed that planes in a holding pattern for LAX pass around the Baldwin Hills, and that, if there's a rising near-full moon in the late afternoon, with enough patience, you could get a shot of the moon and a jet in one frame.