Aug 31

Toll Road Update

Posted by Simon

On Sunday 8/26 during my hike I spent a few minutes on the upper slide area widening and lowering the pitch of the emergency trail. It is apparent that I am not the only one doing it


and the trail across the slide is slowly getting more passable. The County is trying to get all of the approvals it needs to actually reopen the toll road in the upper area but who know when that will be. While talking to a trail companion about the lack of progress on repairing the trail she suggested that I write more letters and perhaps get a petition and a web site going. Anything to get the attention of the people who allocate the resources. I probably won’t do any of those things until “Beyond Borders” is launched but I can update the blog and email my current contacts about it.


The Toll Road is still closed and will be for a long time because the lower slide that is in the City of Pasadena is so unstable that it may not be repairable and a new road will have to be built. No apparent progress has been made in surveying the site or beginning repairs.


In this picture you can see a couple of deer walking on the lower slide area. They were actually starting small slides as they walked. In the lower portion of the picture you can see the fragment of the trail that intrepid hikers have carved through the scree. I understand that it is extremely unsafe but the alternative is the Walnut Canyon Trail, also called the Horse Trail but it is very steep and in bad repair.


The Big Slide

On the trail down Yesterday I met an employee of the Nature Center who agreed that the Walnut Canyon trail needs repairs before it starts to rain. If it rains hard this year part of it will wash out so badly that it will be extremely expensive to fix. A few years ago the county park people found the resources to get a brilliant Bobcat operator and within a week he really did a great job of improving the trail. I hope that they can do it again. If you want to see some action on this idea contact Mickey Long at the Eaton Canyon Nature Center. Contact information to follow.

Aug 30

Farmer Simon

Posted by Simon

I grew Sunflowers again this year.


I had a bumper crop. Each year I save some of the seeds from the largest heads and plant them again the next year. I’m starting to run into problems of the heads getting so big that they pull the plant over.


My friend Chris C. tells me that there is a name for pattern that the seeds make. Something geometric I’m sure.


If you know the name you can have your name inscribed in the blog hall of fame by letting me know what it is.

Aug 29

I went on my longest hike of the summer yesterday. And I did pretty well. I left Eaton Canyon at 6am



and hiked up to Henniger Flats with a very nice young lady named, I think, Sheila (I didn’t write it down). On the way up we talked about the slide area and what we could do about it. She inspired me to do more than just work a little bit on the worst spots on the trail. See later entries. At Henniger Flats we got a short tour of the now closed museum by the helpful young ranger. She admired my Panama hat since she is from Ecuador like the hat.

At about 8am I left the Flats and headed up the toll road for another hour to the point where it looked like I was close to Mount Wilson.


Tower view point

I could have made it to the top and back if I had had enough time. It was a smoggy still day.


You can just see Downtown LA

I did see a doe and her fawn in the upper campground.

I made it back to my car by 11am and I estimate I hiked about 11 miles with a 3000 foot elevation gain. No blisters. Tired but still moving.
Aug 28

Old Joke

Posted by Simon

Question: What is brown and sticky?


Answer: A brown stick.

This one is particularly nice. I found it lying by the trail above Henniger Flats on my way to Mt Wilson on Sunday.  I took its photo but I left the stick.

Aug 27

Maxim for August 27, 2007

Posted by Simon

“The only real job security comes from our customers.”

Jack Welsh

Former CEO General Electric

Aug 25

How to Lift a Cannon

Posted by Simon

This photo shows a cannon gin:


Lifting circa 1864

This photo shows a boulder gin:


Lifting circa 2007

Things don’t change much.

Aug 24

Why I Love South Georgia

Posted by Simon



Beautiful trees:


Lots of accessible water:


Aug 23

Fort McAllister

Posted by Simon

Gene and I went to Fort McAllister a Civil War Fort run by the State of Georgia.

Danny and Gene

Gene knew Danny Brown who manages the place so we dressed up in his re-enactment costumes and had some fun.



The problem was that I couldn’t stop smiling.


This cannon was used by the southern army to try and keep the union iron clads from taking the fort. There is an excellent self guided tour of the reconstructed fort. A lot of the rebuilding was done by Henry Ford.

Aug 22

Life is Good

Posted by Simon

Most Americans agree life is good:

“When comparing their present situation with five years ago, over half (54%) of adults say their situation has improved while one-quarter (28%) say it has stayed about the same and 17 percent say it has gotten worse. The number of those who say their lives have improved is about the same as in 2005 (56%) and still up from 2003’s 49 percent.”

This quote is taken from a recent Harris Poll.  How could it be that the Republicans haven’t messed things up to much.  The media sure gets it wrong.  It reminds me of the title of a Ben Wattenberg book from the 1980’s: The Good News is the Bad News is Wrong

Thanks to Joel Geldin for this link.  Life is Good!

Aug 21

South Georgia Dining

Posted by Simon


Smokin Pig, behind the BP Station in Highway 17 in Richmond Hill.

Very good Bar-B-Q we ate lunch here one day.


Ann Mae’s Sweet Shop is now closed,

and is sorely missed.


Ray and Connie’s


The beautiful dining room


Connie, Carole and Gene

We also ate shrimp at Gene’s Dive Resort two nights and at the Outrigger at Kilkenny Marina a very nice waterfront restaurant. It is south and west of Richmond Hill. I recommend the Stuffed Flounder. It is really a small piece of flounder wrapped around a crab cake. Excellent.