Friday, February 24, 2017

A Hollywood Birthday

Most folks who are asked what they want to do for their birthday, respond with a request for dinner at a nice restaurant, ask for a certain gift, or may just want a party. I decided what I wanted to do on my birthday when I read the recent amusing story of how some pranksters changed the famous Hollywood Sign to read "HOLLYWEED". No, I didn't want to deface the famous landmark, but yes, I wanted to hike the trail to its top. Having lived for four years in San Pedro, a ninety-minute drive to Hollywood, I was too busy partying in in the South Bay area to even think of hiking the Sign.

On Monday, the day prior to my birthday, Stacey and I were listed to take a 9:40am Delta non-stop from Cincinnati to Los Angeles. That happened to be the morning the entire Ohio Valley was shrouded in fog. Our intended plane was to arrive that morning as a redeye from Las Vegas. Because of the fog, it diverted to Detroit. Then it had a creeping mechanical delay, and eventually cancelled. We departed CVG 6 hours and 20 minutes behind schedule, arriving at LAX during a dark, rainy rush hour.

Okay. Enough about the negatives. The good news is that our AIRBNB studio apartment in the Hollywood Hills had a fantastic view overlooking Hollywood and downton L.A.
View from our AIRBNB
We were located at the end of a street populated by celebrities and others in the entertainment business. Our hostess showed us how to access one of the trails to the Sign, from only four homes down the street. It led us to the Brush Canyon Trail which is 6.5 miles roundtrip with an elevation gain of 1,050ft. The sign itself is at 1,578ft above sea level. Although the weather was overcast (hey, this is L.A. after all) we hiked to the area above the sign to take a few photos. Then we hiked the long way back, going south on Canyon Drive to Franklin Avenue, where we paused for some late lunch.  Early the following morning Stacey and I flew from Burbank, via Salt Lake City, back to Cincinnati. Spending less than 48hrs in Hollywood was a whirlwind trip, and I'm already wondering where to hike for my next birthday, Gibraltar???
We made it! Sign at the top of Mount Lee