Routes. Better known to us Aussies as which way to go.
We call them “roots” they call them “rowtes” (row as in argument not what you do in a boat). However you say it Los Angelinos love to talk about it. It starts every conversation when you meet up somewhere, and it will be the last conversation you will have when you part ways.
“Which way are you going…?”
“Which way did you come…?”
“Did you take the 405…?”
“Which way should we go, the 101 is busy at this time of day, is it quicker to use the side streets?”
Even recently, when an Australian friend was talking about which way her friends were going on the way from the airport to her place, she said this:
“From LAX they took the 105 to the 10 to the 101….” Only at the end did she say “they went via Downtown.”
The sad part about that is not that she just didn’t say, “yeah, they went via Downtown,” it’s that I actually could picture the “route” (said with an American pronunciation if you will) they took.
One time when I hadn’t been here too long and went off to Disneyland for the first time my friend said, “Let me send you the best way to get down there.”
“Don’t I just plug it in my GPS and follow?”
Which way you go is a sport in LA.
And now it’s fuelled by apps like Waze (pronounced ways) that will tell you the “fastest” way to get to a given destination.
Waze has fuelled the discussion even more making it an extreme sport.
“Did you check Waze?”
“What does your Waze say?”
And Waze has a lot to answer for in the back streets of LA. I’m too lazy and selfish to suck up my phone’s battery to use Waze. My GPS will be just fine. But I have to confess I’m getting suckered into the “Which route …?” discussion too.
The first (or last!) in a series of what Los Angelinos love to do. And the very top of the list is that people in LA are obsessed with hiking. Yep, Los Angelinos love to … hike!
At first I didn’t really get what all the fuss is about but now I’m starting to get the picture.
Thanks to Google, Pinterest and earnest Bloggers I found a few links to LA Hikes. I had pinned this article a while back and as a good “gunna” (aka going to but never do) person that’s where it stopped. Until now.
I don’t think you can hike alone and when fate hooked me up with a fellow Aussie at an ANZAC Day function we decided to check out LA’s hiking scene and see what all the fuss is about. The goal is for us to do a different hike each week.
If you live in LA—or if you’re just visiting—I’m going to share my quick two-cent’s worth about each hike we’ve done as well as a link so you too can do the “LA thing”.
Hike 1/Week 1. Runyon Canyon
Billed as the “Celebrity hike” I haven’t seen one in my two times (!) I’ve been. When you’ve come from Australia & your morning walk/run was around the Bay in Leichhardt/Five Dock/Haberfield hiking along a dirt track with the possibility of coming face to face with a rattlesnake takes a bit of getting used to (yes, it’s a bit of a come down).
The second week we ventured a little closer to my place and not far from Runyon Canyon. Also a spot I discovered via the Celeb Spotting pages, Tree People is off Coldwater Canyon & Mulholland Drive. Like Runyon Canyon is from Mulholland to Hollywood, Tree People takes you down to the Valley into the Laurel Canyon area.
It’s a little greener than Runyon Canyon, and probably not quite as good on the people watching but it’s a pretty good hike nonetheless. Once you know which track to take!
Coldwater Canyon Park, 12601 Mulholland Dr, Beverly Hills, CA 90210
Parking can be tough, especially at busy times so beware.
Once I discovered I could enter via Mulholland Drive (opposite Tree People) rather than drive all the way around into Beverly Hills then up again I was much happier. This is a gorgeous place to hike—easy to park (during the week), lots of options to hike and some great spots that make you feel you’re in the middle of the bush when you’re actually in the heart of Beverly Hills.
There is water in Beverly Hills
There are several hikes here and we only did one of them so I’m looking forward to coming back to do more.
Address: 2600 Franklin Canyon Drive, Beverly Hills, CA 90210
Also great for dogs.
Watch out for: Yogi-Bear like stop sign cameras. When it says there is a camera, they mean there’s a camera and you’ll get a ticket in the mail. They’re also serious about the sign that says you better be out of there beyond sunset—I know because I met a girl who had to front up with a “please explain” what she was doing there beyond this time (her answer: trying to leave!).
Smarter than your average bear! When the sign says they’re “photo enforced” it means they’re “photo enforced!”
While we were troopers and did it (minus a little incident that we won’t talk about in this forum) there were a number of very fit people who do that trail quite a bit.
When we nearly got to the top we thought we should head back down again. We bumped into a couple of “old-timers” who warned us against going back down the steep trail again but continuing on and following the loop as it was a much more gently decent.
It was great advice but when they told us it was just ‘around the corner’ don’t believe them. That and “the bench” which would be our marker to descend down the gentle decline. Everyone we asked kept telling us we’d see the bench but that bench was a long time coming. Clearly they were walking a lot quicker than we were. (If you click on the link from the Blog below you’ll see plenty of pics of that infamous bench).
All in all a good hike.
Address: Reseda Boulevard, Tarzana (start is just near Braemar Country Club).
Tips: Take plenty of water to hydrate & be on the lookout for mountainbikers hooning down the track.