Climbing Los Angeles One Step at a Time

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Walk #23 : Astro Loop

Distance: 3 miles
Steps: 674
Difficulty: 4.5

"This is a rugged walk, requiring strong legs and good shoes, and not recommended on wet days... but what a walk! It features Silver Lake views, super-secret stairways, and a stroll along unpaved roads that used to be Red Car trolley lines." Taken from Secret Stairs by Charles Fleming.

"Rugged" is a perfect word to describe this walk! We made a loop in the Fletcher Drive/Glendale Blvd area. Some of the walk was familiar and some a pleasant surprise. One thing is constant - we leave these walks tired but satisfied. I usually wake up at 9am on these days and am walking by 9:30am. Those breakfasts/lunches are well-earned. The first stairway was on Glendale Blvd. I have driven by this area hundreds of times but never noticed it.

Once again, Willie joined Charles and me. We have done FIFTEEN of these walks since May and there are 27 remaining. If you think you may want to join us don't wait until we finish! We always welcome guests. There are 4 walks in Santa Monica/Pacific Palisades and we will be doing one of these in 2 weeks. We'll make it a beach day to take advantage of the trip out there.
As we climbed the stairway pictured above we noticed that an older lady kept peeking her head and looking at us. Did she think we were up to no good or was she surprised that people were actually climbing these stairs? No sooner had we climbed these 56 stairs than these appeared. 156 more took us to Ivanhoe Drive in the Silver Lake neighborhood of Los Angeles.

Hydrangeas are among my favorite flowers.

Of course there is always a Hollywood connection when walking the hills of LA. The house above was supposedly inhabited by Judy Garland back when she was still known as Frances Gumm. She lived here with her mother and sister. Eric Roberts (brother of Julia) has lived/lives in this house as well.

Two Sedan de Villes or is the blue one a Coupe de Ville or an El Dorado??

As I've said before, I like this part of LA very much. Great location, eclectic vibe, hillsides, and lots of history!
On the window of a van parked on the street.

Right after I snapped the picture he wanted to kill me.

The new Silver Lake branch of the City of Los Angeles (pictured above). Too bad they are cutting back on personnel and reducing library hours. Just up the street is one of our favorite Vietnamese restaurants - Gingergrass.
As we climbed this hill (notice the Silver Lake Reservoir on the left) I thought that it looked familiar and indeed it was. We had hiked on the other side of this hill a few weeks back and had walked this area before towards the end.
Charles especially liked this house.

My favorite staircase - it goes down!

We had seen this house on a previous walk but it still fascinates me.

At the bottom of this staircase pictured below is a dirt road that was once part of the Red Car trolley line that ran along Glendale Blvd in Atwater Village and then made its way through this area towards Downtown LA. In a previous post we walked along another section of the dirt path.

Why did they get rid of the trolley? This is what's left.

We soon climbed back up the hill and saw some great views from the top.

This one has seen better days.

We were soon back on the Red Car path (Silver Lake Court) headed towards Fletcher Drive. This area was once referred to as 'Edendale'. I was wondering where this path would end and we were in for a big surprise! At the end of the walk we came to the area pictured below. Back in the day there was a railroad trestle 500 feet long and 40 feet high that spanned this gulch. It was built in 1906 and the concrete footings and stairs are all that remain from this era. We had seen these concrete structures numerous times but never knew why they were there. A while back someone placed old televisions on them as some kind of art.

Fletcher Drive at Riverside Dr. with Griffith Park in the background.

Charles on the concrete footings where the Red Car trolley once ran.

Me with some 'art thing' behind me.
We hiked down the hill and crossed Fletcher Drive and walked throught the parking lot of Home Restaurant to access the stairs above. At the top there was a walkway for 100 yards and encountered the next stairway (pictured below).

Some tourists ride in this thing. Yikes!

I don't even want to ask why this pool was filled and there on the sidewalk.

We were soon back on the walkway for the final stretch before lunch at Astro Family Restaurant. The diner dates to the 1950s and was built in the Googie-style so familiar to Los Angeles residents but almost gone.

Astro Family Restaurant at Fletcher and Glendale.

Feel free to join me as I discover hidden parts of Los Angeles and tackle the remaining 27 stair walks.
Steps walked to date: 6,957
Follow me on Twitter: @ClimbingLA

1 comment:

  1. Hey, when you have to go even a construction site porta-potty will do! Another great walk, hard and exhausting but still great. Love the photos in this post. They all came out so well. On to the next one!