Friday, September 28, 2012

Hike 2012.067 -- East Observatory Trail

This hike seems like a long time ago--and it was. Over a week ago. I hiked it a week ago Sunday, as a sort of recon of possible places to shoot Endeavour's flyby of the Observatory.

Started from the Observa-tory, around 5pm. Headed out on Mt. Hollywood Road, first. I wanted to check out a short "point of the mountain" trail that heads south from the road to an overlook. I thought maybe it would provide a city hall backdrop. After verifying that the view here was not better than the view I was considering further up on the Charlie Turner Trail, I returned down Mt. Hollywood Road, then began up West Observatory Road. However, shortly after passing Western Canyon Road, I headed down on the West Trail.

As I walked down West Trail, I passed several check dams on my right, where the canyon bottom was. These short, stone and mortar walls, perhaps three feet in height, occurred repeatedly along the "V" of the canyon, spaced as little as 50 yards apart from each other.

After about 1/3 of a mile, the trail split as it reached Western Canyon Road and a picnic area.

I walked to the left of the picnic area and followed what I believed to be the main trail. It paralleled the road for about 1/2 mile before reaching a junction. Apparently (judging by the map), this junction would have been at the top of the Ferndell Nature Area.

From there, I made a left turn, then stayed on the right fork that headed back up the canyon. This was the East Observatory Trail. It's shorter and seemed less steep than the West Observatory Trail. The two trails merged about 1/3 of a mile up from the split.

There were several nice views of the Observa-tory building as I climbed. The last bit cut more or less due east, reaching a three-way junction, which was the same junction I reached when i headed down from the Observatory a few weeks previous.

Headed up that last stretch, then continued in to the observatory.

I was still getting acquainted with my camera, and I wanted to get additional informa-tion on its performance capabilities. So I headed down to the lower portion of the Observatory (the part that was added during the 2002-2006 renovation). They call the middle level (with the info desk) the Edge of Space, and the lowest level is called the Depths of Space.

Scale models of the planets (including dwarf planet Pluto) are attached to the side of the Edge of Space and overlook the Depths of Space. I took several shots of earth, Mars, Saturn, and the outer gas giants.

Earth looks kinda weird. Or, more precisely, Alaska is oddly shaped.

Saturn looks very pretty. I like that it provides a sense of scale of the ring system, too.

Meanwhile, I am heading into the end of a week without having taken any hikes. I'm feeling restless and fat. However, I ran out of time on the relatively cool days, and now we're heading into another phase of oppressive heat. Also, I have to work on the weekend. May be able to fit something short on Sunday after work, but that's about it.

Yes, I'm sure you're all getting tired of pictures of Griffith Park. Just turns out that's the only place I've had time to fit hikes in recently!

I'll call it three miles for the day.

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