MARCH 30, 2016 – HOLLYWOOD SIGN (the hard way)

I dimly knew that it was Easter. So I shouldn’t have been shocked to find Lake Hollywood Drive absolutely packed with cars and the sidewalks jammed with people apparently walking to/from some kind of event/service. I was about to go home when a parked car pulled out. I snagged the spot and trekked thru the throng of worshippers to the public easement.
032716_01_easement
At first there weren’t many people going my way.
032716_02_walkway
My first destination, the hilltop American flag was visible from the official trailhead.
032716_03_th_flag
Before I could start I was passed by a stream of 20 somethings.
032716_04_trailhead
Only my twin hiking poles let me keep up with them on the steep rocky trail.
032716_05_rocky
Even then everytime I stopped to look at the view more of them passed me. Exactly 1 hour after starting I reached the top. One of the 20 somethings was explaining that the various ammo cans and boxes at the foot of the ‘Tree of Wisdom’ were geocaches! I HAD to interrupt and say, “no they aren’t.” My input was not favorably received but it stopped the misinformation.
032716_06_tree
Everyone’s attention moved on to other things and I wandered away a few feet and immediately found a cache Ben & Jayme: For the Love of Caching (CG2DD3H). It was in good shape.
032716_09_ben_jayme
I turned around and took pictures of the sea of rock cairns (new since my last visit in December 2013) and the hazy scenic view.
032716_07_cairns
Only a few feet away behind the bush in the picture above stood the flag I saw from below.
032716_08_flag
I headed East toward the Hollywood sign. By now the trail swarmed with muggles. Many of them sat around resting at a wide spot. But no one knew about the convenient butt-friendly benchmark pedestal, just out of sight. As I sat on it and played with my phone a small child approached and was immediately grabbed away by a concerned parent who probably thought I was pooping behind the bush. Haha! When the coast cleared I walked 9 steps to the obvious (to me) cache Cahuenga Peak (GC5NR2C) and made the find.
032716_11_peak_cache
I signed the log, returned the cache and rejoined the muggle stream toward the sign. From the main trail I looked down on a side trail and saw 2 men shouting, jumping around and gleefully using sticks to bang something at the base of some bushes. It was almost certainly a case of snake murder. I watched from several hundred feet away and hoped for P22 to spring out from cover and eat the offenders. What’s 2 more skulls in a remote section of Griffith Park? But it didn’t happen…
Here’s the view from there looking back to the “Tree of Wisdom.”
032716_10_lookback
Eventually the trail dropped steeply. Here’s a look-back from the bottom.
032716_13_lookback
Another smaller hill was easily crossed over and the trail merged into a paved road behind the Hollywood sign. The best viewpoint is at the top of the small hill on the left side.
032716_11a_sign_road
From behind the “H” I gave a telepathic shout out to the ghost of Peg Entwistle. “Don’t Jump!! Your audition was good! You got the part!!”
032716_12_sign
The hike back was uneventful. I noted that my hiking poles let me descend the rough trail easily while those pole-less repeatedly slipped, tripped and fell.

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2 Responses to MARCH 30, 2016 – HOLLYWOOD SIGN (the hard way)

  1. David says:

    Thanks Ken. Always enjoy reading your trail stories.

    A group of us car-bridged this hike in the same direction a couple of years ago, finishing up at the observatory.

    David aka qbee37

  2. sissopolis says:

    Excellent blog, Ken. I love to read about your adventures. : )

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