2012 Dec 01 | Forest Service Road to Mt. Lowe Alpine Tavern site and Inspiration Point

Rainy day over downtown LA.

From another angle.

Lexington Social House in Hollywood had an open bar for a few hours. It's really hard to find parking around here, but thankfully I was about 15 minutes early, so I just drove around an approximately 6-by-6 block area until I saw a spot open up. I had to put in a couple of quarters until 8pm; after that it was free. Much cheaper than the lots or garages.

I ran into a couple of friends and made a few new ones there.

That's a lot of clothes to carry.

Hey, I see me in my side mirror, not traffic! Someone must have bumped it. Good think it just swings around.

Lunch at the Baby Blues BBQ in Hollywood. For a split second I thought these were baby rats in the bottom of the bottle.

Lots of hot sauce.

Not bad.

Nice plate.

Even though some meters aren't enforced on these days, lots of street parking laws still are.

A really neat looking building.

A fun billboard; robot dogs jumping out of it.

Enough rain that if you're walking on the crosswalk, you're gonna get a little wet, even if you jump.

I spotted this cop hiding an a little dead-end road behind an on ramp on the highway.

This guy is leaning so far back in his car that he's practically in the back seat.

People lined up for the Gamespot next door to get a game that came out today.

I want to buy a bunch of these containers, but all the lids are gone. That doesn't even make sense.

Kind of a neat idea.

Leftover candy from Halloween is given out at any party I have or go to.

I ate at Irv's Burgers.

The food was OK, but the Asian woman who took my order was great; she said every dicision I made was "a very good choice" or something like that. Also, she drew a personalized picture on everyone's plate; I had a t-shirt.

Every time you pressed this button, it said, "Please wait." The guys I were waiting with got a kick out of it and pressed it like 20 times.

Saturday morning was a trip to the Mt. Lowe Alpine Tavern site and Inspiration Point.

They only open the Forest Service Road to vehicles once a year, for this trip. You had to pay $2 for your ticket.

The tickets were copies of the old trolley tickets.

They had people with larger vehicles drive so they wouldn't have any problems. The Pilot in front of me had lower ground clearance, so I figured I'd just stay behind him to be safe.

Going through the gate.

They had come up earlier and cleared off most of the road. This tree was still on the edge.

And this one on the other side.

A nice view of the city below.

Around a bend.

Uh oh, he didn't get over far enough for this rock. Some people riding with me got out to guide him around.

That's not a good thing to have on an expensive SUV.

Pretty deep.

A neat old car one guy drove.

At the camp site.

Lots of signs explaining things.

Our price list for the day.

Serving hot dogs.

And hot chocolate.

It was pretty cold and rained off and on, so the fire was nice.

Explaining an app.

Getting something out of his backpack.

A tavern used to be here, but you could still find some of the foundation pieces.

A guide handing copies of the old menus.

It was a lot cheaper back then.

A plow and some other items.

Pretty woods.

A watertower.

Although nature was fighting back.

It had a few leaks, too.

A view from above.

That's interesting; it looks like a tree growing inside a tree.

Reminds me of Boy Scouts.

A few tiny berries, but I don't think they're edible.

Some moss.

A lower area.

The steps to it.

Listening to the plan.

That's a little scary.

Pretty view of the trees.

The rangers said this plant was similar to poison ivy.

There had been a fire a while ago.

Inspiration Point.

On a clear day you can see a long ways.

Tubes to look through at various areas.

Unfortunately it was too foggy to see anything today.

This one is funny.

Other people looking through the tubes.

My turn.

A pretty view.

The railway, powered by a mule.

Lower down.

The shelter.

From below.

More trees.

It got really foggy a bit later.

An old pipe.

I hiked there before.

The volunteers we were with rebuild the shelter the last time.

A little door covering the water.

It goes out this pipe...

... and down here.

There wasn't much foot space to walk; I was worried I'd slide down.

A little path on the other side.

A giant tree that had fallen down.

Some of the volunteers.

Telling various stories.

Yum, Arizona iced tea and barbeque Corn Nuts.

Giving the rock plenty of space this time.

Although he did hit this rock with his rim.

I took photos while driving on the way up. The guy in the passenger seat offered to take pictures on the way down. Almost all of them came out blurry. This one was at least clear, but the subject matter was, uh, interesting.

Thankfully there was a car wash with a vacuum on the way home.

Lots of bad traffic on the way home from the east.

However, the GPS stays on highways. If you turn off highways, it will give local roads, and according to the GPS they take about the same time, but they're really much faster, at least here. Although if you turn off on Mission and go south, it can be a bit tricky to get back west as you have to go across bridges and sometimes you can't get on them directly from Mission.

Why did the package go to Ontario, Canada? Oh, wait, that's Ontario, California.