Mormon Rocks

Trekking along the PCT (Pacific Crest Trail) just south of the Cajon Pass and west of the I-15 freeway, we found ourselves winding through a wonderland of rock formations and wildflowers.

The wildfire of 2017 (the Lake Fire) seems to have inspired spectacular blooms of cactus, penstamen, yarrow and nearly every other wildflower…all at once.

The few phone camera pictures we took could not do justice to this bloom.  Still it was a cool, overcast morning, perfect for hiking.




Catching up…to the Flower Fields

Time to catch up …  with Trekker photos from Echo Mt. above Pasadena to the flower fields in Carlsbad.

Metro is now offering a 75cents shuttle ride from the Goldline in Pasadena (Memorial Park Station) to the Sam Merrill Trail.  From there it is a 2.7 mile hike to the top of Echo Mountain.  Bus #88 runs on weekends until September.   Pictures taken by Linda L.

Then on Thursday, trekkers took a road trip to Carlsbad to view the fields of ranunculus.  Click on any image in the two galleries below to start the slideshow.


Celebrating International Women’s Day

Video by Angie Dee and Justin Kenward, story by Julie Cosgrove

Don’t Diddle with Our Peace Cairn

Near the trail junction in upper Marshall Canyon, someone (or someones) has been busy creating peace sculptures in the woods.

And somebody or somebodies has been systematically taking them down.

But new sculptures keep appearing, sometimes in  a different medium.

Marshall Canyon is an LA County park, infrequently overseen by county employees, who most recently have installed a puzzling but colorful series of trail signs and maps.  (It is still possible to get lost in the Canyon even though a hiker will never be more than 2 1/2 miles from the parking lot.)

We appreciate the county’s attentiveness to Marshall Canyon, especially when there is storm or wind damage to the trails.  But we also enjoy the creativity that the human critters (we think) add to our hiking experience.

We hope they persist, pile on more rocks.   Maybe we should think about an opening reception for the next artwork that (hopefully) will appear…

ps.  The top photo was taken by Carrie.

pps. If you are the sculptor, leave a comment below!


Cairn-ly Diorama at Big Bear Lake

A drive of an hour and a half will get you from the border of LA County into the San Bernardino Mountain resort community of Big Bear.  From there you can follow a number of trails to the heights above the lake, where you will be surrounded by the sounds and scents of the pine and cedar forest.  We bypassed the gentle Grey’s Peak Trail and drove to Couger Crest Trail because it connects to the legendary PCT.

We hiked and what do you know, we once again stumbled on forest art.  What at first looked like a random collection of rock piles became a sort of campfire diorama created from stones and sticks.  As we got closer, we could make out a “cabin,” a circle of baby cairns, seemingly led by a big adult cairn.  Even a fire pit.

So we continued climbing, goofing off, chatting and taking many, many pictures. Along the way we met through hikers from France and from Wisconsin, even a couple who brought their 5 month old in a front pack!  (They turned around at the PCT.)



Uncrowded beach, are we really at Newport?


Saturday at Newport Beach, the week before Labor Day.

We arrived early, anticipating crowds and parking difficulties. Headed toward the waves.  Splashed, examined seashells, and people-watched.  But where was the crowd?

Got some exercise on the three sandy miles between the Newport and Balboa Piers.  Found a black shell (which I regret NOT collecting), observed what martial arts students do at the beach, then strolled along the boardwalk (where the return was only two miles long.)

Most of the beachfront houses sported pristine porches, tiny back yards and occasionally,  contemporary (and wonderfully minimal) design.  We took a few group pictures.

p.s. George took the last picture.

Stumbling and bumbling into contemporary art in LA

Last Saturday, we were killing time, waiting for the JANM to open at 11 for George Takei’s exhibit.  We wandered south on Central, looking for Groundworks Coffee on Traction Avenue, an obscure slanting street connecting 3rd street and 4th Street Place, when ohhh myyyy!  We stumbled into the Arts District with buildings and walls covered with images, portraits, color.

Then on Thursday, we drove to the old Masonic Temple on Wilshire Boulevard, now rehabilitated as the Marciano Art Foundation Museum.  Although admission is free, we did have to make reservations and get “tickets” … that were very carefully examined before we were allowed to enter the nearly empty parking lot.

I was gently surprised to find a museum staff tolerant of photographers and questions and a ten page guide to the exhibits.   It was an entertaining visit, replete with political and classical references, familiar pop culture themes, humor.

Curator Philip Kaiser and artist Jim Shaw fully exploited the spacious rooms, creating a cartoon world for wandering and wondering.