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10/12/2008: "Morning Ride"
fromObservatory101208 (162k image)Hadn't done a decent hillclimb for a few weeks, and hadn't been to the Griffith Observatory in months, and that was a real deficit! As a child I constantly pestered my parents to take me there, and as I grew it remained as regular a part of my life as waking up, it seemed. Day and night, I would go, by every sort of conveyance, not just for the exhibits inside but for the view from its parapets, and the trails leading up from the parking lot. To me, it's the crowning glory of Griffith Park a 4,000-acre park comprising mostly wild hills and chaparral, and it self the crowning glory of Los Angeles.

I left the house a bit late, but the air was still cool after our single day of real fall weather yesterday; I followed the route I used to ride on my last commute, before I started working for myself, then went past the old shop and headed up Ferndell Drive. Pedaling steadily uphill, passing under the shade of eucalyptus and sycamore trees in the lower canyon, then oaks and toyon on the upper slopes, and then no foliage tall enough to give shade at the very top. Then the Observatory's famous building and even more famous view.

There was a bit of haze, a bit of smog, and smoke from a distant forest fire, but it was still a classic view. If you click on the image above, you should see a larger version.

And for those who think fixies aren't suited to hilly lands, please note the 25-story skyscraper in the very middle of the picture; that's where I had started from a good bit less than an hour before. (It's around the corner from my apartment.)

After enjoying the light and the air, the sounds of birds and the smell of desert plants, I headed back down, using the fixed-gear to restrain my speed so I could enjoy my last few minutes in the park. Birds all around, each calling in its own peculiar way; I didn't want to cover any of that music up with wind noise!

On the way down I heard a little chime from my pocket: a text message from Gina. Detoured slightly once I was near home to meet her for coffee at Massimo's--a good end to the morning, a good start to the rest of the day.

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