Friday, January 25, 2013

A Walk in the Park

Raining today, but at least it's not freezing. Poor souls/soles on the eastcoast. I'm remembering how cold would sneak right past the soles of your boots, into your long underwear, around your padded bra, under your wool scarf, and out your nose, freezing your eyelashes shut. I lived in Madison and Toronto and I know cold....but I couldn't do it again

Stay warm my children!

Speaking of them, after they left I took a walk in Heidelberg Park, recently home to the poster wars of my last post. Heidelberg Park reminds me of the Haleakala Crater that Barbara Kingsolver writes about in High Tide in Tucson. Bus loads of tourists come to visit the volcano, but stick to the parking lot; very few descend into its depths, which goes on for miles.

Heidelberg Park isn't exotic like that, but very few people venture beyond the street. Eighteen-acres of park sink into steep, wooded canyon. Does anyone walk into its core besides coyotes, I wonder, as I venture down the trail.

Or I should say trails. Someone's been digging them, and it ain't SMMC. Someone with a strong back, and an eye towards history. Why do I say that? Because he (and I've seen him) has built trails and walls and stairs out of brick. They remind me of the hand built stone walls, from the early 1700s, along the roads near Lexington, KY.

Whoever the trailmaker is, evidence of his love for bricks is everywhere.

Hand built stone wall in Heidelberg Park

Los Angeles Pressed Brick Co. 
founded in 1887
 (this brick, used for a stepping stone, is old!)


From the open trail, I descend deep into an overhanging mesh of brambles, and surprise a clutch of doves and robins, who fly off making a racket. Is this where the coyotes—sounding in the hundreds— bed down at night?

Further on, I find something unexpected: a skateboard hanging from a rope attached to a tree, 20 ft. up. Who hung it? Not the guy who's digging the trails, he's not the skateboarding type. Must be a kid or two from the 'hood. I try swinging on the board, but fail.

Hanging rope in the brambles

I make my way back up and out. It's a workout; I don't see a soul. No one's here on this beautiful day, and I almost feel guilty. But not so guilty that I want the trails clogged with city folk. Let the coyotes and birds and moles enjoy this place of solitude undisturbed.

Heidelberg Park looking out over Highland Park

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  1. Ah, the diverse secrets of a city - secluded trails, coyotes and ... hanging skateboards?! Would love to know more about the bricklayer/trail builder.

    1. Yes, i will try to find out more when i see him next. although not knowing has its rewards too.

  2. if it werent for you, i wouldnt even know parks existed in LA.

    1. It's quite wild out here, despite our rotten reputation.