November 17, 2014

A Historic Hike

For anyone new around here - I live in Los Angeles, but specifically in an area of the city which is pretty historic. We can trace our history back a long way and we still have a lot of history all around us. 

Down the block from where we live (and right next to where my sister is buried) there is the Santa Susana Pass. While I have known it has existed I actually thought it was farther north where the current road that connects Simi Valley to the San Fernando Valley currently is. 

Over the past few weeks I saw a flyer on Facebook about a guided hike that was taking place this past Saturday and I was excited to check it out. I even got my husband to go! (He is NOT a hiking type of guy) My brother, sister-in-law and the kids came along as well. 

The hike started in a place that I didn't know existed right next door to the cemetery. It was dog friendly, which Jonathan was thrilled about. 

It was about 2.1 miles around trip and the steepest part was at the beginning, but it was nothing. Actually, it's something I wouldn't mind doing often to get some exercise. 

That's me in the green tank top. We're in mid-November and it's been warm enough to go around like that. 

Right after the first bend we were able to see this truck which has been there for over 50 years and has started to melt into the ground. Since it's been there so long and it's on the land of a State Park it is protected and therefore cannot be removed. You can see my sisters' niche from there as well (it's the second one in on the top row).

This hike mimics one that 3rd graders from 2 local schools get to do. Nikki did it when she was in 3rd grade two years ago and Jonathan will get to do it in another couple of years. There were 3 or 4 different stations with park volunteers and others telling us about the history of the pass. 

The first one was at this Stagecoach. The volunteer explained to us about the trails that were used when California joined the union and how they used the Santa Susana Pass to get over the Simi Hills and then on up to San Francisco during the Gold Rush. 

Jonathan is so sweet, he loves to be close to us. He was leaning on me here as we listened to the explanations.

We also learned about Oak trees (which are protected by law) and how the acorns will fall from the tree and eventually form a ring around the original tree. They also taught us about the Chumash Indians that lived in the area and showed us the type of food they ate and the things they made. 

One of the last stations were about the quarrying that was done in the pass. We stopped right next to an area where rocks were removed to take down to San Pedro and Long Beach. They also explained the methods that were used to break rocks and then Jonathan got the chance to break one. 

He was pretty excited about that.

Even though it wasn't too long of a trek, I was tired in the end. It didn't help that we went to Costco right afterward. Like I said, though, I'd like to do it again and more often (although the guided tour is only done once or twice a year) so that I can get some exercise and also so I can reach a bit further down the trail. 

There is a very steep part of the trail that we didn't get to see. It's cool (at least to me) because it's the actual part of the pass that settlers used to come to the area we live in now. The trail we walked on is also part of that pass. It totally amazes me to know that people were walking there hundreds and hundreds of years ago. 

Mingle 240

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