Griffith Park Observatory and downtown LA (above).
Buddhist prayer flags? (above)
Today I was planning on taking a very short hike, maybe an hour at the most. However, once I started walking, I didn't want to stop. Just as I've learned to always carry at least 3 water bottles with me regardless of how long I'm going to hike, I also need to learn to start bringing food and my first aid kit no matter what. Many times I simply hike farther than planned. Once I get going, it's hard to turn around and come back home.
Today's hike in Griffith Park was very enjoyable. I took a new trail (actually a horse trail) and found myself heading towards the landfill. Once I reached the landfill, I thought it would be cool to visit the Hollywood sign. There was a fantastic trail that traversed the ridge line for about 3/4 of a mile, with amazing views of LA on the left, and Burbank to the right.
After visiting the Hollywood sign, I decided to bag the peak to the west. I started to get hungry at this point, and remembered that I had some candy in my backpack left over from Valentine's Day. Three Hershey kisses, a sour twizzler, and a couple slabs of Miner's lettuce, and I was good to go. (The Miner's lettuce was actually quite delicious!)
While hiking home, I heard a clap of thunder coming from the east. "That's the first rumble of thunder I've heard in ages while hiking," I thought to myself. Instantly, a memory of North Carolina came to the surface. When I was living in Asheville North Carolina a few years ago, I went blueberry picking in August. The bushes were located in one of the most beautiful sections of the mountains, off the Art Loeb trail. The mountains were bald, covered with grasses and offered incredible views of the Pisgah National Forest below. The day I went blueberry picking, it was very stormy. I brought my rain gear and a Gatorade bottle to put the blueberries in. I remember standing amongst the bushes, getting soaked, lightning and thunder crashing right on top of me it seemed, and picking and eating wild blueberries in one of the greatest places on the planet in my opinion. All I could think of at the time was, "This rules!!"