Wednesday morning? Hike time. My hiking partner, Jennifer, got us into a weekly slog up and down Runyon Canyon a while ago. When she moved east, we started trading off: dogs in Runyon one week; coyotes in Griffith the next.

So, for the third time in five days, I find myself at Griffith Park. Instead of our regular hike from the Bear at Fern Dell to the Observatory, though, I’ve suggested that we hike one of the roads. I’ve just handed down my craptastic mountain bike to Jennifer, and she’s justifiably nervous about riding in LA traffic, so I’m finding bike paths and car-free places for us to ride.

As we park the car at top of Commonwealth, a Bambi-sized coyote lopes down to greet us. He looks so cute and healthy, the “here doggy, nice doggy, smooch, smooch, smooch” instinct almost kicks in.

So, we head up the reverse of my Saturday ride, and determine that we’ll be back on the bikes (although I’ll probably ride my beach cruiser, not the road bike). We decide to explore the hiking trails that veer off the road, where bikes are prohibited.


The observatory seems so close, but it takes a while to get there, possibly because of all the photo ops:


As we approach the observatory, we come to a (pitch) fork in the road. Left, right, or center? We’re running late for our morning appointments and decide to forge on ahead. Straight ahead. Which leads us to a cliff we need to descend.

We’re planning to hike the Grand Canyon in June, and I talk too much about my fear of heights and how nervous I am about the top of the trail down. Now I’m confronted with this:


So, clearly, we made it to the bottom. We made it to our appointments. Eep.