I returned to old territory today, but this time I made sure my phone (i.e., camera) was fully charged. I parked on Spruce Street and walked a loop that covered Alta Vista (#26) and Poplar Paths. I was half afraid it might rain as was forecast, but I saw nary a drop.
I climbed the steep Poplar Path (#27) from Spruce up to Cragmont Avenue first. It’s not that long, but from the bottom, you can’t see very far up, so it feels longer than it initially looks. It’s lined with ivy and other forms of greenery along the fences, some of which are adorned with colorful creatures. And near the top were some huge banana leaves that were drooping so far over the path, they would have flapped against my face if I hadn’t ducked to avoid them.
At the top of Poplar Path, I turned left onto Cragmont and walked north to Halkin Lane, which took me back to Spruce. For a while I saw no one except a few folks walking their dogs. I suppose everyone else was staying inside out of the chilly wind. But then I spied a stalwart jogger and, later, a very fit bicyclist who appeared to be in his sixties. And I found lots of interesting photo opportunities, including a semi-hidden Buddha in a bird house.
Alta Vista Path was long and not as straight as most of the paths, with three distinct sections, each with its own flavor: The first had carefully planted flowers on one side and a railing on the other. The second part was lush with ivy on a chain link fence. And the bottom of the path featured bamboo on one side and was marked by some large cacti on the other.
The path ends on Santa Barbara Road, where I walked a scant block to Montrose. There I found a wooden fence with several intricate web-like cut-outs embedded in it, an etching in the sidewalk, and what looked like a bowling ball atop a post. All of this is so close to my home, but I wouldn’t have known any of it was there had I not decided to seek out these paths.
As I turned east to head back to my car, it looked like it might start pouring any minute. To avoid getting drenched and becoming one sad puppy, I skedaddled home.