Wednesday, May 5, 2010
If you drive west from Altadena, passing La Canada and just the northern tip of Glendale, you’ll find La Crescenta, maybe the smoggiest jewel in the foothill crown.
Like Altadena, La Crescenta has political feet in more than one place -- I don’t know that that matters, but it seems to hint at romance and mystery, of 19th century land-grabbers and poker players.
The main drag looks like a valley transplant, or something in a border town, where old chain stores go to die. Little remains of the Cain/Chandler California.
The trick is to turn north as soon as possible, drive into the hills, then steer clear of the new gated communities.
I planned to start my hike at Dukemajian Park, the same place where I bought my horse in the early 90s. But since the station fire, the park remains closed. Continuing on, looking for a trail to catch, I was lost, then found:
Gates thrown open, welcoming. According to the signs, any god you may choose is welcome here. 100, 200 acres, and I could wander at will.
I've got to admit, this kind of of serendipity comes close to a religious experience. I almost wept. "Here is a fountain to slake your thirst."
And if you're hungry, there's a Der Wienerschnitzel within walking distance.