Sunday, December 18, 2011

Topanga State Park

The majority of Los Angeles citizens probably have no idea how fortunate they are in having this park within their city limits. In fact, it is the world's largest wilderness within the boundaries of a major city. We took Topanga Canyon Road into the park. On the way we stopped at Top of Topanga Overlook. From this spot we had a wonderful view of the city with the Santa Monica Mountains off in the distance. While standing there a ruby-throated hummingbird caught our attention as he hovered over a bush covered with red flowers.
We drove into to the state park where we noticed signs indicating that parking in the park would cost ten dollars. Consequently we did as everyone else was doing and parked on the road outside of the park. We talked to a park ranger about the fee when we entered the park. He commented that since so many people were trying to avoid the fee by parking outside of the park, state officials were considering placing no parking signs on the road where we had parked. John and I did feel guilty later that we had not paid the fee. We thoroughly enjoyed the hiking trails of the park (covered about 5 miles of the 36 ) and spent the majority of our day there. We took a couple of the trails which meandered over sunny grasslands and through heavily shaded forests of live oak. Frequently the trails opened up to spectacular vistas of the Pacific Ocean.
 When I took the above picture the sky was quite overcast. We felt a few sprinkles of rain off and on until late afternoon when the sun finally came out. We attempted the trail up to Eagle Rock, one of the highest points in the park. However we had to turn back when we realized that it was further away than we realized. On the way up to that rock we encountered quite a few other interesting geological  formations. The canyons in the park have earthquake faults, as well as volcanic formations and old sea beds with marine fossils.
One last picture I have here is that of a manzanita tree branch. I stopped to admire the tree because of its smooth red bark and small white blossoms. Bees were swarming the tree. At times like that I have to stop and seriously think about what season of the year I am in!  I certainly am not in the midwest in December.

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