Sunday, January 26, 2014

Secret Stair Walk - 1/42

Remember how I wrote about that super awesome hike/walk we went on the first week of January and how our goal was to try and do a hike nearly every weekend? A week after I wrote that post I got super sick ... like I am pretty sure I had the flu. To make things just a tad bit more exciting, I got sick on a Friday. I managed to go to lunch with Joe on Saturday and almost immediately after eating my salad wanted to go home and get in bed. I was in bed the entire weekend, totally incapacitated, with a fever for two days. I thought I was better so I went to work on Monday and was completely miserable. Joe got sick too and just as he was getting better, had a drug reaction which sent us to urgent care the following Friday.

Suffice it to say, no hiking for us for two weekends in a row.

But we're healthy now! Hurrah! And so we're back at it. Today we decided to go back to the beginning of the book. We were meeting a friend for coffee around 10:30 or 11am and thought it smart to stay close to home. Plus, I hate doing things out of order so it was Hike #1 for us this morning. This hike took us to the point where Eagle Rock, Los Angeles, and Pasadena meet. It took us 10 minutes to drive to the route which was nice and easy for a Sunday morning. We literally rolled out of bed, grabbed coffee, and walked out the door.

Admittedly, I was a little apprehensive at first. I used google maps to find the starting point for the hike and when we arrived things looked a little sketchy. The intersection of Figueroa and Colorado was drab, there were overflowing trash cans, and things just looked a little rundown. We parked in the Vons parking lot and set off to find La Loma, our starting point. The weather was really nice for a hike. The high here today is about 70 but we started at 8:30am when it was cool with a slight breeze. I was thankful for the lovely weather but still not sure about this hike seeing as the first thing we saw (and the first thing the book noted about our route) was these power lines.  

But, as with our last hike, the route gave way to some fun sights. This route was really more of a walk and was way less strenuous than our last trip even though it covered only a slightly shorter distance. The staircases were not at all steep, had a lot of landings, and for the most part the terrain was flat. Perfect for a Sunday morning/post sickness jaunt. 

The biggest difference was that while our last route took us through a neighborhood, this walk really took us through a neighborhood. Most of the staircases formed alleys between properties. The walk was quiet, probably because we were there at 8:30am and judging by the number of full driveways, most people were still sleeping.

We encountered a few other stair walkers along the way, mostly people who lived in the neighborhood getting in some morning exercise. We did run into another pair with the Secret Stairs book! I wondered whether we'd run into anyone else one of these days and it happened sooner than I thought. One of my friends lives along this route and mentioned that she's seen random people in the neighborhood with books and kindles. I guess there are a lot of stair walkers out there! At least one neighbor seemed not to appreciate the foot traffic. Just to set the record straight, we were quiet and used our inside voices.

The best past of this walk was exploring a new Pasadena neighborhood. While the walk technically started in Los Angeles, it took us straight into Pasadena. This neighborhood is no more than 5 miles from our apartment but because it is entirely homes, we never have any reason to go there. The neighborhood was quiet, the homes all lovely and well maintained, and the people we encountered seemed nice. Joe's new goal is to try and buy a home in this neighborhood. It might be a little quiet for me but the homes are all charming and unique. Plus, it isn't very far from most of our favorite local places.

Honestly, there wasn't much to see on this route but there was one highlight. We came across this adorable English Cottage. Whoever built this is English or loves the countryside. 

How adorable is that?! It has great stained glass, some well placed big windows in the back for lots of natural light and a great view, and about 3 front doors. The real kicker? It is for lease. Anyone wanna go halfsies and host weekly teas? I have the perfect little Wedgewood tea set we can use! 

Now that we have two hikes/walks under our belts I think an accounting is in order. Over the last two hikes we've walked 5.9 miles and climbed 1,564 stairs! I can't wait to see those numbers go up as the year goes forward! 


  1. I would love to have a staircase like this to walk every morning. Instead I have these architectural stairs in my house that I run up and down a few times. Its not as much fun as being outside but it will have to do until I find my secret stairs to use.

  2. I wish I could find the Ithaca equivalent of this book. It is so amazing to see all different parts of LA.

    1. You should come along the next time you're in LA!!! We've been going on a hike every week. It always involves coffee, me taking way too many photos, and inevitably teamwork to make sure we stay on the route. haha.