Here’s how this week’s arts and culture column begins:
I’ve taken a long walk every day since lockdown, staying close to my Pasadena neighborhood. Last week, though, I had a dentist appointment in Glendale. And afterwards, I stopped at a place I’ve had in mind for months.
I entered the enchanted realm of the Deukmejian Wilderness.
“The Wilderness Park,” runs the official description, “occupies a rugged 709-acre site in the foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains at the northernmost extremity of the City of Glendale. The park is predominantly chaparral and sage scrub, but includes secluded streamside woodlands and scattered remnants of big-cone spruce woodland in Dunsmore and Cook’s Canyons. Trails on the site provide spectacular views of the Crescenta Valley and the Los Angeles basin.”
The Park Center area includes the parking lot, the Glendale Park Ranger Station and the historic Le Mesnager Barn. George Le Mesnager was a French emigrant, LA entrepreneur and winegrower who built the beautiful stone barn, used as a stable and for grape storage, till Prohibition put the kibosh on the wine industry.
A 1933 fire, followed by rain-season flooding, culminated in construction of the adjacent dam and debris basin.
READ THE WHOLE PIECE HERE.