Thursday, September 10, 2009

Death Hike

What doesn't kill you, makes you stronger, right?

I didn't think this applied to hiking!

Like some sort of idiotic angeleno, I decided to get some exercise in Runyon Canyon at noon in near 100 degree heat. Although the exercise was probably good for me, the near death experience from heat stroke was not. In case you are wondering, I DID have water with me but after 10 minutes it was starting to boil and it lost its appeal.

The big problem with Runyon is that it isn't flat. It has quite a steep slope considering that it is nestled in the Hollywood hills. I consider myself in good shape but the 80 degree climb was a little strenuous in the full sun. I wanted to lie down several times but I was afraid that the vultures would think of me as a freshly warmed up snack. I forged ahead and after an hour and a half, I made the full circle. A sweaty hog is pretty much how I would describe myself.

During the hike, I had to keep my mind off my imminent death so I started to think about other things.

For example:

Why in the hell do people take their dogs on this hike in this weather? This is officially a "dog park" but it is not a wise idea to bring your BULL DOG out in this heat. These dogs can't breathe at the best of times (try breathing through a straw and you get an idea of what it is like) and some owners expect them to keep up as they march up the slopes. The same goes for the northern breeds like Huskies and Akitas. These dogs should be running around in snow and not the over baked terrain of southern California.

I felt especially sorry for an obviously older Cocker Spaniel. His owner was in perfect shape but what she failed to realize was that while she is at the gym 7 days out of the week, her canine companion is likely sleeping on the couch. Making him get some fresh air in this kind of weather is not the kindest of ideas. At least she had water for him which she probably needed when his body spontaneously combusted.

The other thing that was bothering me was that there are no bathrooms on this hike unless you count a hidden corner and trust me, there are not a lot of those. Forget it if you are a female. Even for a male, you have to whip it out, get it done and get the hell out of there before the next hiker passes by. This leads to the inevitable conundrum; don't drink a lot of water while hiking and risk dehydration OR hold your bladder and hope it doesn't burst. For the love of all SoCal bladders, when are they going to get port-a-poos on this hike?

Admittedly, it wasn't all bad. Angelenos have some of the best bodies in the world (fake or not) and everyone was in varying stages of undress as they sweated their asses off. The eye candy was the energy drink which kept me going.

I was able to snap some pictures. They aren't up to my usual standard but I was feeling faint and my camera was burning my hands. You can get an idea of the place. It is actually quite beautiful and a nice respite from the overcrowded city.

On a clear day you can see forever.

But not in Hollywood.

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