So I was surprised to see the wording right here, in the San Fernando Valley.
Once inside, it was like stepping into another world. The hard packed earth was just a strip of non-grass like a zipper holding together two side of hillside meadow.
The climb was steep but traveled around the hill, blunting the effect of going straight up—even it was just psychologically.
Around the bend, we spied our first side views of the valley.
There is even a bench to sit upon and contemplate.
I guess city folks have a hard time being without their buildings; half way up the trail, trailgoers have developed this Cairn City. Busses, toys, and other objects populate the stone urban center.
As I looked out over the cavern, it was fascinating to realize that such large animals like deer could make their home here. They did not need to cross streets or go near human-dwellings. This was their open space.
When you live in towns around woods, deer, coyotes, and other wildlife is common. But it always comes a surprise in such a densely human-populated area. A friend told me of her neighbor’s spotting of P-55, the resident cougar in Griffith Park. We share this earth with so many different creatures, and we assume they are unlike us. But they are more like us than we care to think on. They too simply want to live in peace, have shelter, food, and friends. They love and live and grieve and fear just like we do.
So when I picked up my backpack to see a millipede, while it startled me, I did not kill it or lash out in any way. (Although my instinctual scream may have inadvertently hurt its eardrums—if they have those.)
We rose to the occasion and I was pleased to see the trail somewhat level out. I could see the multi-million dollar homes up on the horizon; Deervale Street.