Archive for February, 2014

Urban Hike: Highland Park to Old Pasadena

On February 16, 2014, my friend Lori and I went on an urban hike with the Los Angeles Hiking Group. Thanks to our decision to take an earlier train, we had time to walk around and look at the lovely old buildings on Route 66 (Figueroa) in Highland Park before meeting up with the group at Antigua Bread. Had we known about Antigua’s amazing-looking pastries we would’ve come even earlier to have breakfast, but this time we had to settle for iced Cafe Americanos to go.

This hike from Downtown Highland Park to Downtown Pasadena was approximately 8 miles and, as my photos show, the route was accurately described by leader, Tuck, as being “via obscure neighborhoods, unusual points of interest, and multiple public stairways.”

Johnston Lake aka Beaudry Lake aka Mirror Lake
In the 1950’s, this lake of many names disappeared from view into a gated community to be enjoyed by 18 lucky homeowners. On the day we visited, a guy opened the gates and some of us made a mad dash past him to take pictures of the lake. As the gates started to close, the rest of our group screamed frantically for us to “Get out! Get out!”

I made it out just before the gates locked behind me. Since the guy was in the process of pulling the trash cans in and needed to reopen the gates I’m sure he was wondering what the heck everyone was yelling about.

Castle Green
Take my advice and go on the holiday tour!!!!

Abbey San Encino
It is not an abbey. It’s a private residence. That’s just it’s name. Jackson Browne’s grandfather, Clyde, a printer & typographer, built the house. You can see Jackson sitting in a chair in the inner courtyard on the cover of his album “For Everyman.” If you’re too young to know who Jackson Browne is, yet the house looks vaguely familiar to you, it plays the abandoned church in episodes of Dexter where Professor Gellar  and Travis Marshall commit their crimes.

Arroyo Seco
That means dry stream, which it is right now, thanks to the drought. But it’s still lovely to hike along beside it.

Church of the Angels
This church is really cool! Looks like something you’d expect to see in England. It was built by Mrs. Alexander Robert Campbell Johnston in 1889 as a memorial to her husband, a British Colonial official. He also has a road named after him on a Hong Kong island.

Judson Studios
They have been designing and installing stained, leaded, and other architectural glass for over a century!

Pisgah Historic Home District
Interesting place. You should click on that link I provided and read about the history of this place, which is now a senior housing facility.

Our final destination before catching the Gold Line back to Highland Park was lunch at Lucky Baldwins Pub, which was celebrating their 15th Annual Belgian Beer Festival. The dark, foamy #13 & #18 were getting a lot of ooos & ahhhs, but ice cold lemonade sounded more refreshing with my Pub Burger.

Even though it wasn’t our stop, Lori & I got off at Highland Park station on the way back with two goals in mind: Get one of those pastries to take home & find the Victorian house on a hill that we could see from the train.

Unfortunately, all the pastries were long gone, but Lori got a Guatemalan cookie and we did find the Victorian house!

Smith Estate “El Mio
That house has an interesting history if you have time to click the link. It’s been in a lot of movies, too. This video shows the interior.

This hike gets 5 stars because it was a good distance for me, personally, and the hills & stairs got my heart rate up. Additionally, hike leader, Tuck, goes at a pace that is not the death march some leaders like to take us on. Even when I stopped to take a picture of something it was just a fast walk or short jog to catch back up with the group. And I like that Tuck made  periodic head counts and checked on our various tables at the end of lunch.

Nike+ Fuelband stats:

Fuel: 4,317
Calories: 938
Steps: 21,592
Hours Won: 7

Further Reading:
Highland Park by Charles Fisher
Within the Vale of Annandale by Donald W. Crocker