To Hill and Back

What won’t I do for you, my deserving readers? Today I huffed and puffed up this nearby hill to bring you a photo of our new environs. It is merely a tip of a toe of the foothills of the Santa Monicas, but for this flatlander it was a red-faced, lung-busting challenge. I discovered whole sets of leg and gluteal muscles that had lain dormant in Illinois. But so much the better: our new goal is to sport awesome California Calves such as seen on the intrepid local bicyclists.

The photo looks northeast from this hill — one of the many that give Woodland Hills its third syllable. Those are the San Gabriel Mountains hunching along the horizon. Splayed out before them is the San Fernando Valley which starts to devalleyize right about where I’m standing. Behind me loom the Santa Monicas. Then the Pacific. Then Japan.

Halfway down the combustible southeast slope I paused to take this picture of the hills bordering Topanga Canyon Boulevard. “Topanga Cyn Bl” is a twisty road that zags through the canyon and comes to an abrupt oceanside end 12 miles later. Just the other day we were halted on that route by a polite young L.A. cop to allow a film crew to record the flouncings of some extraordinarily skinny actress whom we did not recognize. Being halted in a canyon for the shooting of a movie delighted us. A few years hence, I suppose, it may delight us less.


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