31 October 2010


Sketches for the month.

Houses on the hill in Solstice Canyon.

Little waterfall by the ruins in Solstice Canyon.

Drawing the wet rock to leave the water clear for the fall in Rubio Canyon.

24 October 2010

Rubio and Eaton Canyons

Pasadena front country

Locate the trailheads: Rubio Canyon and Eaton Canyon.

There was a week or so of rain, so I decided to go out and see the waterfalls. It was not heavy rain, just drawn out.

Rubio Canyon

Wandering up the various Rubio named streets, I got to the trailhead. The trail hadn't suffered under the recent watering. Unfortunately the canyon hadn't really filled up, either. I didn't see water in it until about halfway up the section of the trail in the canyon where some of the bottom is visible instead of the endless stones from the water company's little mistake.

small and gilled butter colored mushroom top
As I came into the canyon bottom, I spotted this little mushroom.

first sighting of water
The first sighting of water and there's not very much of it.

03 October 2010

Solstice Canyon

Solstice Canyon Park

Locate the trail head.

I went out to Marina del Rey searching for particular parts and failed, so the purpose of the trip didn't work out, but that area is a fun drive with funky homes all along the way. I had also brought along a few necessities for hiking around although I only had my sandals along. I decided to drive a little further up the coast to just past Malibu. There was a hike at the bottom of the hill from the one we did a while back. I drove past the road we'd got to Pacific Crest Highway on, recognizing it. I drove past Pepperdine. I spotted the Thai and sushi place we'd had dinner. Then I saw the road up to Solstice Canyon and managed to even feel confident enough about it to turn up it. In no time, I got to the trail head.

The information by the parking lot confirmed there was a loop to be hiked in a little under three miles and that I needed to be out by sunset although my hiking book said 5PM. The shore was socked in with fog but it didn't get very far inland so the canyon "with views of the ocean" was clear. I grabbed my stuff, minus the camera that was not among it even though I'd remembered to gather it up with the rest. I took off up the hill, climbing in the sun. The hiking book had noted a house that jutted out absurdly, and indeed there was. It's wasn't the only house visible from time to time.

Houses on the steep hillside.
Some of the houses up on the hillside.

Eventually the trail wound around a bit traveling up and down and around a torn bit of fence and then dropped down again. As it dropped, ruins could be seen with random tropical foliage jutting out at the edges. This was where the trail was headed. Up above the house, an offshoot of trail went up to a little waterfall.

Waterfall with more tropical foliage.
The little waterfall upstream of recent ruins.

After the waterfall, I took a longer look around the burned out home. I found the sign talking about the ruin. It was only built in the 1950s and burned down in 1982 but seemed to be cooking with wood. Perhaps they couldn't get services to it when it was built. It also seemed to have a dam for water storage, which would be sensible since the stream is intermittent. It was flowing down the falls, though.

Coming back down the canyon, there is another ruin, but older from around 1900. This one was built, sold, burned and then the fellow built it up with "stones and tin" for fire protection and it worked well, for a while. But eventually it got wood built around it for porches and things and it had burned again in 2007. It clearly had had services in once that was possible. After I saw the place, I saw the sign explaining all this. I seemed to be doing the loop in the wrong direction.

The dog walkers were coming out once I got back. They didn't seem to worry about the fine for having off leash dogs, but they did actually have leashes with them, which you don't always see.

©2010 Valerie Norton
Posted 3 Oct 2010

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