Thursday, February 11, 2016

Hike 2015.051 and Hike 2015.065 -- Lower Millard Canyon and Owen Brown Burial Site

Hiked Sunday, June 28 and Saturday, August 22. Two hikes in the lower reaches of Millard Canyon. In both cases, I began at the campground and hiked along the dirt fire road that heads west from the campground (2N65, Brown Mountain Truck Trail). Once you gain a little altitude, looking towards the urban-wilderness interface, you'll see a hill with a trail that appears to climb it, and some power line towers, near that hill. Eventually, that will be your destination.
In the meantime, simply follow your truck trail You may pass a rise with honey bee apiaries, on your right.
After just under a mile, Brown Mountain Truck Trail makes a very sharp turn to the right. It's easy to miss that turn, because there's a dirt berm that appears to be (but is not) the end of the road). If you were to continue over that berm, you'd still be Brown Mountain Truck Trail, and you'd eventually reach the Ken Burton Trail (as described in the hike linked, above). That's a pretty good hike, and a nice view to look into the Arroyo Seco, and across, at the Angeles Crest Highway.
On the other hand, the seemingly more obvious trail will have you miss the berm, entirely, and continue west rather than turning to the northeast. You'll pass a marker, advising that you are now on Fire Road 2N68. This fire road heads towards town, rather than away from town.

In fact, within 1/2 miles (roughly) of getting on this trail, you'll be walking on pavement, again. It's a private road, but with public foot traffic permitted upon the road. You'll pass by a couple of homes, some with interesting decorations. In particular, you'll see a car, pictured later.

Meanwhile, there's the car's hood, sitting along a side trail, which drops down, into the Arroyo Seco. It's got a quote, from St. Francis of Assisi painted on it. I explored that trail some on my 65th hike of the year. On my 51st, however, I just walked along the road.
As you proceed, you will soon pass directly in front of a couple of houses, as well as the rest of the car that the hood came from. It's a haunted car, by the way. You'll see when you get there.
Continue briefly along this paved road, Then, when the pavement turns left, you'll continue straight on to a well-defined trail. You'll pass among some electrical power towers. In well under 1/4 mile, you find yourself atop a small rise. And on that rise, and interesting marker, next to a pine tree.

The first time I saw this, I had no idea if this was an historically significant sign or not. So I went on-line, and discovered that, in fact, Brown Mountain had been named after Owen Brown, who was one of John Brown's sons. After John Brown's martyrdom, Owen moved out to California, and bought a ranch in Altadena. His ranch, so his mountain.
I also learned that he had been buried here. And, although the metal sign was not original, the wording on the sign was the epitaph on the original grave marker.
I also came across some pictures on line of the burial site. I was surrounded by wooden barriers. On a later visit to the burial site, I found the burned remains of some of those barriers. So, yes, he was buried here on this hill, although the original headstone is elsewhere.
On the walk back, I viewed the homes and the car from the other direction. I was amused by the flag, and the seemingly random collection of junk among the homes.
On a future trip, as noted above, I walked down the trail with the hood of the haunted car. It was a well-developed trail (several areas with numerous bricks, where erosion was a problem--and those bricks were heavy, so some serious work involved in building those trails).
There were many crossing trails, and I wasn't sure which one was which. One must presumably head on down to JPL. Yet, lacking the motivation to figure out which one, I just headed on back the way I came.

Lots of places to explore down here, and this doesn't even include the part above Millard Canyon Falls. I never blogged that hike, either. Will need to, eventually.

OK, so that was one "flashback," an unblogged hike from last year. I should try to get a few of those in each month, in addition to trying to keep semi-current on this year's hikes. That's it for now, though.

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