Stranded In The Southland

Thursday, April 07, 2005

Shoemaker Road, Again

I've been sick for the last couple of weeks (what's the deal with me being sick so much!?), so I haven't gotten to do much hiking. This was my spring break from Spanish, so I'd kinda hoped to do a bunch of camping, but no such luck. Instead, I relaxed on the couch and watched movies and hacked a bit. Bummer.

Anyway, I was finally feeling better, so I headed out for Smith Mountain, yet again. I kind of assumed that CalTrans had managed to fix up CA 39, and had simply neglected to update the web site (as happens so often). Alas, it was still closed.

I tried hiking up a nice creek just a mile or so before the closure, but that was too boring and flat and it was paved, anyway. So I fell back to Shoemaker Road, which I'd partially hiked earlier in the year.

This is a fun little dirt road stretching along the mountains above the East Fork of the San Gabriel River. It's really beautiful. The road was originally built as an emergency escape route from LA in the event of nuclear war (great, a two-lane, twisty road through the mountain funneling 10 million people out of the basin?). It was never finished.

There are a couple of cool, slightly spooky tunnels, and plenty of great scenery. I mean, it's a shame that they cut this road through the mountains, scarring the heck out of 'em, but now that it is there, it is a fun walk. It turned out to be just the right distance, and the day was perfect and warm.

Woo hoo. Now, I gotta get my act together and do some more hiking.