I’ve become a creature of habit with regard to my walks around Lake Hollywood. Either first thing or last thing of the day finds me turning on my Map My Hike app, as I walk down the hill to the gate. I’ve described before the comfort of remembering days long gone by and the happy runs we took there.
Initially, when I rediscovered the walk, I marked the hikes by date – this went back to my New Year’s resolution to do 50 hikes in 2020. I think I can safely say I’ll surpass that modest goal. Just counted up and I’ve done 48 so far. The hiking purists among you might comment that 25 of the same hike doesn’t constitute 25 hikes, but I put in the miles, so take your purity elsewhere, friends.
What I’ve noticed recently is that though each hike is subtlely different due to time of day, weather conditions, company, they do blend together, I’ve taken to naming them for their outstanding feature, for example:
- Seven bunnies, resting deer 7/31
- Save my life end of day solo 7/30
- Tahoe Drive closed 8/2
Some things repeat, and I’ve begun to think of those as the pentimenti of the walk. See, that expensive Art History degree pays off occasionally.
There’s the spot I refer to as Cathy’s kitchen, though I can’t tell you why or she would kill me.
There’s the hillside where one day, a man stood, arms akimbo, looking up at the hillside. When we stopped, there were two young bucks butting heads as though they were sparring, but it was gentle, the way toddlers hug each other when they are about three. They seemed impervious to our fascination, and just kept going at it; eventually, we walked on.
There were the two young women who were skating towards me on rollerblades. I didn’t get a photo, but noted that one of their skates were blood red with black zebra stripes. As any self-respecting writer would have, I imagined they were unable to go to the roller derby arena to practice, so resorted to this much more bucolic rink, the large asphalt ring around Lake Hollywood. Other days I’ve passed other skaters. Again, the events toss together in a summer salad of quiet introspections.
There’s the spot where on more than one occasion, I’ve encountered an elderly couple taking a break – she sitting on the curb, and he standing patiently across the road, leaning on the big rusty pipe and looking a little exasperatedly and a lot lovingly at her. They greet passersby, as she gathers her strength to continue. I’m never sure which direction they are going, whether they’ve come around from the other side, or have just begun their journey. Doesn’t matter. Just part of the human parade that defines all of our escapes from our current confinements.
There’s the spot that I think of as Randy’s Donuts meets the Hollywood sign, because just as you pass it, if you look off to the right, you can spot a fragment of the Hollywood sign through the green arch. (Not in my picture). These are the idle thoughts that drift through my mind as I purposefully chug around the reservoir.
I’ve watched this curious project get completed over the past several weeks, from the busy backhoe loader digging on the hill to laying the big black pipe from top of hill to road, seeing the recently poured concrete, to the addition of large boulders and finally completed with “icing” on top. Not being an engineer, I can’t quite see the value of it because it doesn’t appear to go under the road to join into the reservoir. I’ll have to ask one of the DWP security employees who patrol someday if I think to…
Some other sights from this week, including more deer and a tarantula: