If I were going in order–which was my original plan–I would have taken Bret Harte Way (#47). But I got lost and decided to take the path I found. It’s the urban hiker version of Stephen Stills’s song “Love the One You’re With.” Well, sort of…
So, for the record, La Loma Path is #85 (not to be confused with La Loma Steps, which is #103). It was a hot day, so I parked my car beneath a large palm tree near the bottom entrance to the path, which is on Glendale Avenue.
From the start, I could tell that La Loma Path had not received any maintenance in a while. In fact, it looked somewhat forgotten.
It has a helpful railing on one side and some out-of-control grasses on the other, making it the narrowest of the paths I’ve taken so far.
And it got narrower as I climbed. At one point I had to duck to avoid a robust thorn bush that hangs over the path in a way that seemed to me to say, Warning–turn around! But perhaps I am guilty of anthropomorphizing an innocent bush that was just left to its own devices.
In any case, the flora almost covered the path completely by the time I was halfway up. It’s a good thing that the railing juts up among the greenery to show the way.
The house on the north-ish side of the path had a sign in its window, which drew my attention to it. So of course I kept looking at it to read it as I got nearer. Here is what is says:
If you are staring into this window instead of walking harmlessly on Glendale Ave sidewalk near by, you’re a PERVERT.
I’m guessing that the occupant has either had an unfortunate incident (or many) or is a teeny bit paranoid. The blinds were drawn, so nobody would have been able to see much anyway. I couldn’t quite make out the words on the smaller sign on the bottom, but I could read the word “peace,” which somewhat counteracted the hostility I was getting from the other sign.
Once I got to the side of the house that faced the path, I noted that it had not a single window. And it appears that someone either ran out of paint or energy. Or perhaps the thought was that the inhabitants would never see the side of the house. Only path wanderers would. Or those pesky perverts. And who cares what they think?
At the top are some lovely wooden rails to help you mount those last few steps. Unfortunately someone felt the need to write on both posts closest to Campus Drive, the path’s upper entrance. Looking strictly from the top, the path would appear to end abruptly into a giant redwood, but there are actually steps that go around the tree.
Because I had an appointment and had spent way too long driving around looking for other paths, I had no time to wander Campus Drive or Glendale. So I turned right around and descended the same way I’d come up.
I took care not to glance sideways at the windows as I passed.