Mood: wicked wicked sad
Bee Rock, September 2006
On Tuesday May 8, 2007, a fire broke out in Griffith Park, a 4200-acre park in Los Angeles. The park, which was given to the city by Col. Griffith J. Griffith in 1896, is a mix of wonderful hiking trails and destinations like the Griffith Observatory, the Autry Museum, Travel Town, the Los Angeles Zoo, and of course, the Hollywood sign. As of Thursday, May 10, the fire has been 75% contained, but over 800 acres, or a fifth of the park, has been burned. For a more detailed description of what has happened, check out the Los Angeles Times article complete with a map of the burned areas.
Among the areas that were burned were Dante's View, the Old Zoo, the Mount Hollywood, Fern Canyon, Vista Del Valle, and Coolidge Trails, Captain's Roost, and Bee Rock, which is pictured above.
I am at almost a complete loss of words to describe how sad I am. When I lived in Hollywood, I was less than 2 miles from Griffith Park and would go hiking in there as often as I could. The trails offered a measure of peace and quiet in the middle of the insanity that is Los Angeles; it was the only place I felt like I could do any thinking. My idea of a great afternoon in Hollywood was to take a trail that I hadn't been on before so I could connect it to my mental map of Griffith Park. In fact, the only things I really miss about LA are Griffith Park, Immaculate Heart of Mary, the Dodgers, and Pho 2000.
While I know that the flora and fauna will return, it is really sad to think of all those trails and areas as burned, and those are just the main ones. I wonder if people will even be allowed to hike or hang out in the affected areas during the summer, which is really horrible to contemplate. Griffith Park is one of the few places in LA where people come together and chill out. On a Sunday, you would see families having quincinera parties and BBQs, soccer games, drum circles, people zipping along on their bikes or trotting along on their horses, or just hiking and enjoying the incredible views. It is one of the only accessible open spaces for many people. I hope that Griffith Park is restored to its former glory soon for the sake of the citizens of Los Angeles.
PS-A big thank you is in order for the Los Angeles Fire Department and everyone else who is helping to fight the fire and were able to save all of the structures like the Observatory, the Carousel, and the Zoo!