It still amazes us that we live in a geography where there are mountains. From most anywhere in Pasadena you can see them looming behind buildings. As I bike to work in the morning, I see them in the distance. Sometimes it seems like a backdrop csuch as that is just a movie set and if I would keep heading towards it I’d actually hit a mural. Never the less, they are very real, quite close and we have come to find there are a variety of hiking trails weaving throughout them to enjoy.
A few weekends ago we took a visit to the mountains nearest to us. We’ve hiked this particular area, called Eaton Canyon, before. On our first trek we ended up taking a trail that ended at a waterfall. The trail was woodsy and wove around a creek that eventually gave way to the waterfall. It was fall then, so there were beautiful colors and the weather was cooler. It was an overall serene hike. However, on this particular day we decided to see what else the area had to offer. We chose a different route called the Cayote Canyon trail and got a very different experience. That weekend it was erratically warm and probably close to ninety degrees. The trail started out by weaving through the trees and we were thankful for the relief of intermittent patches of shade. Then, suddenly the path steeply inclined and was completely void of shade. It was warm–very, very warm–and although we were a sweaty mess by the time we reached the top, the view was beautiful. The mountain top overlooked Pasadena and out into another wall of distant mountains. We found a little patch of shade and took a lunch break. We were so content beneath the tiny branches, munching on our salads. Rested and energized we set out, back into the sun, and made a successful descent!
This weekend adventure post highlights some of our trips to Venice Beach. Our most recent outting a few weekends ago was special because I got to pick up a belated Christmas gift–a new bike!
Venice has quick become one of our favorite places to go. It has amain drag on a street called Abbot Kinney that is lined with quirky shops and unique resturants. One of the perks is the Intelligentsia where we can’t help but stop for coffee and treats to enjoy during our little adventures.
In addition to the fun on land, the Venicw Beach is within walking distance. Here there is a board walk featuring the strangest mix of people and activities that it makes for some entertaining people watching. The beach is also home to a pretty amazing skate park where we’ve spent a lot of time watching the action. It’s always interesting to see who turns up! My favorite image below is of a small boy, probably about eight years old, who skated nearly as well as some guys there three times his age. It was incredible!
Tah-Dah! We stopped by the Linus shop to pick up my new ride, a beautiful Dutch three-speed. I had been riding a lovely vintage Schwinn Suburban for the past four years that was much too small for me. It is nice to finally ride something my size. And, although I was really resistant to a new bike, it is amazing how smooth and painless my daily rides have become. Aaaah, modern technology.
We have been earnestly trying to take advantage of our new home by taking time during our weekends to explore! This weekend we traveled to San Pedro, a city on the coast just south of us. While we certainly got some beautiful views driving up the coast, the main reason for the journey was to visit Wayfarers Chapel. I had recently seen pictures of it and told Matt that we should go see it for ourselves sometime. We found that it wasn’t very far so we decided it would be a good way to spend part of our holiday weekend.
The chapel is a memorial to the theologian Emanuel Swedenborg, built in the fifties by Lloyd Wright (Frank’s son!). Nestled on a hill overlooking the coast, the views were pretty spectacular! The chapel is made mostly of glass and blends into the surrounding forest seamlessly. Standing inside, sunlight flooded the chapel creating playful shadows all over the cobblestones. The grounds also held beautiful gardens, a fountain and a walkway made of bricks dedicated by couples who were married at the chapel. After wandering about we had to make our way out as guests began to gather for a wedding. We headed down to the coast to soak up the last of the sun as it was beginning to set on our day, bringing a beautiful end to our weekend adventure.