A day in the hills
"The San Fernando Valley-Chatsworth"
As I set out on the trail I could see the Western San Fernando Valley stretched out below me. This is the Valley in which I grew up but until today I have never hiked in the local hills. I've been very idle since coming home from my round the world trip so today I thought I'd get out and do something....
"Awe inspiring? I won't blame you if you said no!"
The climate in this area is usually pretty dry and is similar to the Mediterranean region which may explain the landscape and vegitation you'll find in this area.
"A repel into the canyon..."
As I hiked down into a canyon I came across a rope that was stretched out along the trail. I was happy to see this rope being that is was on the steepest section of trail. It must have been placed there by previous hikers and it sure made the descent into the canyon a whole lot easier.
"The little stream that could!"
I had no idea where I was headed and frankly I was hoping I'd be able to stick to the trail and find my way back. When I finally did get down to the bottom of the canyon I was suprised to find this little stream. Sure, it seems like no big deal but you have to remember that I am only minutes away from the huge metropolis of Los Angeles which over the years has become sort of a concrete city. It was nice to see a bit of nature still survives on the fringes of this huge city.
"The Nile has got nothing on this stream"
To you it may just be a little muddy brown puddle but to a 28 year resident of the Valley like myself its a beautiful mountain stream. You have to remember that the only running water I see in this area is the water that comes out of the tap, or the water that flushes out of the toilet. It was actually nice to come across the stream...as modest as it was. I sat on a rock and just listend to it trickle over the rocks. Very relaxing...but I wouldn't drink it!
"This hike sponsored by Arrowhead!"
Hmmm...looking more like a Grizzly than Grizzly Adams! Well, I'm the star of this page (hence the picture) and one piece of advice to anyone hiking in this area is to bring your own water. I guarantee you that the water in that plastic bottle is fresher than the water in that stream. It also gets pretty hot in this area, over 100 degrees farenhite in the summer, and the winter can even get up into the 80's.
"A gift from Africa"
If you're a naturalist (I'm really not sure what that means..but I think you get it) you'll enjoy all that nature has to offer in the hills above Chatsworth. I came across this very rare plant species called the Habitus Spavitus. Spavit was a little known kingdom that thrived along the Niger river in Mali (Africa) centuries ago. A strong wind known as the "harmattan" roared across the Sahara and picked up the pollen and seeds from the Habitus Spavitus. Luck would have it that the strong winds carried the seeds over West Africa, the Atlantic and its winds eventually linked up with the equally strong Santa Ana winds that can ravage Southern California. The few seeds slammed into the hills of Chatworth after their 20,000 mile journey and within months the Habitus Spavitus was thriving in the hills of Chatsworth. C'mon..you really don't believe me do ya??
As I hiked out of the canyon and back up to the trail I was happy to see a large Hawk soaring above the hills. i wasn't able to photograph the hawk but I assure you that thios story is true....there is wildlife to be seen! Soon the naturalist in me said its time for a good Starbucks iced coffee and soon I was heading back down into the Valley in my Jeep Cherokee in search for that perfect Mocha Frappucino.