Wednesday, January 2, 2013

The Cadman Spur

Today I took the path less traveled…which also happened to be the path of more resistance (but the good kind).

Since I was working from home this morning, I made plans (with myself) to sneak in a good Griffith Park hike this morning. My alarm sounded at 6:15am, and after a cursory (read: psychologically dependent) check of my various internet presences, I snuck in a quick ab workout, then left for one of my favorite morning jaunts via the unnamed trail that starts at Cadman Drive in Los Feliz.

Flush with that new year’s feeling of adventure and discovery, I hitched a left at a fork in the path – a fork I ignore every single time I hike this trail, despite its grassy green insistence that I give it a go. I wandered this chlorophyllic path until my stroll became a forty-five-degree angle of squelchy mud and sweat. I pressed on, happy for the workout and curious about what lay ahead. During one of my frequent wheezy rest stops I turned around and took in a view I’ve never quite seen before – not from this angle, at least.  The trail sloped down through the greenery out of sight, and the San Gabriels rose on the horizon, silhouetted in the morning haze. I could see my originally intended path weave along the hillside below, now looking pretty boring next to my spectacular muddy green perch.

Not too shabby, Griffith Park. Not too shabby.

I kept going, figuring this trail (which I have now dubbed “The Cadman Spur”) rejoined that original path (Coolidge Trail), but instead it continued to climb past fancy houses and up a grassy plain, eventually depositing me in a thicket of conifers.

Yes, there are pine trees in Los Angeles, if you just look hard enough.

I smiled a big, sweaty smile, and found myself on a familiar fire road, Vista Del Valle Drive (though not the one I thought I’d land on), and wound around some water tanks to a hairpin curve in the road. To avoid heading back down the slippery hillside, I was hoping I could link back up with the Coolidge Trail and glide down the dusty fire road back to my car.

And I did.

Adventure and intuition paid off, and I emerged back on Cadman Drive a happier, sweatier person than I was an hour prior. I took the path less traveled and discovered an even better way to start the morning, with misty vistas and surprise pine trees, not five minutes from home.

Sometimes it pays to go left instead of straight ahead.

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