Sunday, January 10, 2010

The Long Run

Yesterday, after not having been running for a week or so, and after not having run more than 13 miles in the past years, I ran an incredible trail that made my legs sore as all heck this morning.

 I started in Burbank on the bridal path just East of Warner Brothers, and ran down to Los Feliz blvd, about five miles southeast of where I started, then ran to the merry go round in Griffith Park, then up a fire road to the top crest of the park where I could see both the city side all the way from downtown out to Palos Verdes.  It was probably about 1200 feet elevation there.  It was a very clear day, and the ocean lay like a carpet to the west.  From that vantage point, I could also see parts of Burbank, all of Glendale and out to the east a good 50 or 60 miles.

Up there on the top, there is a worn out paved road that circles around.  I looks like it starts from where Vermont Blvd heads up the hill on the city side, and then meanders to the North, the path I was about to take, and ends up somewhere near Forest Lawn Cemetery in Burbank.  I’ve read books from describing early Hollywood in the 1920’s, and I have often read of people driving the Griffith Park scenic route at night, seeing all of the incredible views.  This has never computed in my head because it’s all dirt roads up there, or so I thought.  But when I ran yesterday, I realized that there is a paved road along the crest that is not maintained well.  This must have been a nicely paved road backing the day, and a common way to see the sights in the old days, similar to how Mulholland Highway has continued to be so.

I ran northward along the crest fire road, blew past a fence that said “road closed,” and found out why.  There were parts of the crest fire road that had been the subject of mudslides, and there were bulldozers sitting around; it was the weekend, so the dozers were dozing.

Still, I was able to get by on foot and continued north until I eventually got to a point where the fire road turned west.  I knew this to be the point where I would take a fire road down back toward the Griffith Park golf course and old zoo area.  I headed east down the hill, and at one point found myself on a very straight, descending dirt road with a line of telephone poles running along it.  I would have thought I was somewhere in Colorado except I could see all of Glendale, including a building I had been in earlier that morning for a memorial service, sprawled out in front of me.

I got to a location called, Amir’s garden, which was a resting area, still about 400 feet from the bottom of the mountain.  There was a maintained garden with a full watering trough for horses, benches for sitting and kids playing.  I got myself some water here and then continued down the hill.  I finally hit the paved road that lead southward to the Old Zoo Picnic Area, and then got back on track toward the bridal path that took me past the Western Heritage Museum, and then back towards Burbank.  In all, I ran 18.21 miles.

Again, it was much more than I had planned to run, but more than that, the ascent up the mountain really wore out my legs.  I was doggin’ it towards the end.  I arrived back to my car in darkness.