Archive for the ‘Other Than Equine’ Category

The modern rail line and Tunnel #27
March 18, 2013

On the anniversary of Chatsworth’s 125th Birthday, I and about 35 other people hiked up the old Stagecoach Trail. The trail was in use from the mid-1800’s until 1895 when a new road was built. The old trail also played a part in the civil war. For more info, please read: http://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=25209

And: http://www.historicalsocieties.net/history.shtml

Now, onto the caves and railroad portion of our trek:Image

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Hikers, up near what WAS the “Manson Cave” area. Now, thankfully, all negativity associated with these caves is GONE.

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Ah, the 118 freeway and Topanga Canyon.

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One of Manson’s victims. Manson and his little shits used to steal cars, strip them of their parts, and shove ’em down various canyons around here. Sadly, the entire Santa Susana Pass Canyon is cluttered with these god-awful burned out, rusted out vehicles, some dating back to the late ’60’s and ’70’s and victims of Charles Manson. Today, lots of people use these canyons for illegal dumping, and no one does a damn thing about it.

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Another tragedy of this State Park: not all of it is State Park. Sadly, the Park could not or would not buy all of the available land when the old movie ranches went out of business. The result is that some church bought a lot of the land. They plopped down a mega-church, parking lots, and then went and bought some land which they really do not use, but instead, put up a bunch of ugly signs warning people to keep off. Then their members patrol the area on ATVs, which damage the land. They nearly run over hikers – who are NOT on their property but instead on adjacent property, and demand to know what they are doing. They eyeball everyone, assuming that anyone on PUBLIC, state park land must be up to no good and thus must be watched at all times. Because, you know, that’s what JESUS WOULD DO: Put up ugly signs warning people to KEEP OUT. Riiiiiiiiiiiiiight…..

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Train tracks looking south.

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The tracks are the City’s property. Thus, the graffiti is allowed to proliferate. Still, these tracks have a rich history. The 3 tunnels were started on in the late 1800’s, and completed in 1904. They created a new “Coast Line”, which linked Los Angeles with San Francisco. This helped end the need for the old Stagecoach Road.

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I do love railroad tracks.

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The tunnels in these photos belong to Tunnel #27, one of a historic series of 3 tunnels and often used in classic movies, especially westerns. You can learn more about Chatsworth’s film history here: http://a-drifting-cowboy.blogspot.com/2012/02/homage-to-six-gun-heroes-and-their.html

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The graffiti that the City of LA is known for, on the top of tunnel 27.

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There used to be a second track here. Supposedly it ran to a rock quarry called the Southern Pacific Railroad rock quarry, used to build this portion of the railroad and tunnels.

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For historic reference, check out these two photos, pictured below, of this same rail line and tunnel, tunnel #27: http://www.railroadforums.com/photos/showphoto.php/photo/20450/title/surfliner-through-santa-susana-pass-tunnel/cat/605

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The one above fairly recent.

And look at this one, below!!!! Taken in 1904 right after completion of the tunnels!! See the second line? It no longer exists. I suspect it was just used for a rock quarry and to build the tunnels.

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The photo above is from a movie, Rio Grande, shot in 1940.Image

This is a photo from a movie called “Ma & Pa Kettle On The Farm”, circa 1951 showing the tunnel and tracks. For more info and to learn about some really cool film history, go here: http://a-drifting-cowboy.blogspot.com/2012/07/chatsworth-filming-location-railroad_03.html

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Ah, see the white paint at the top of this hill? At least I think it’s paint. Anyway, this hill is known as Stoner’s Jump, or Stoner’s Point, depending on your source. YAY!!!

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See what happens when the City takes over?? The State Park has control of most of Santa Susan State Historical Park, but this portion near the railroad is sadly owned by the City. The State Park takes care of its rocks – when graffiti appears, it is promptly erased. But the City could not care less, and this graffiti has proliferated for years. This huge rocky overhang, something of a cave really, USED to have Native American pictographs on it. Now, nothing but gang tags.

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Walking away from the rails and toward Chatsworth Park South.

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Chatsworth Park South. the park with some of the richest history in So Cal, and unlimited potential, is now closed exclusively due to the utter incompetence of the City of LA, and their politics. They shut the park several years ago, due to, they CLAIM, the presence of lead in the soil. While it is true that there is lead in the soil (due to Roy Rogers’ old skeet shooting range), the lead is only in one tiny portion of the park that could easily be fenced off, and NO ONE, in the 60+ years the park has been open to the public, ha complained that this park has made them sick. Plus, you’d have to actually EAT the dirt to get sick. Yet, the whole park remains closed and fenced off. That ain’t horse shit you smell. It’s BULL SHIT.

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Wonder what these posts used to be used for? Pony rides and LOTS of equestrian trails used to exist in this park.

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We end where we began, at the entrance to Chatsworth Park South and the old dynamite shed.

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Just for fun: This driveway leads to an old red barn and large horse property. It is located just a few blocks from Chatsworth Park South.

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Yes, this old barn does have some significance. It is the barn where Mr. Ed lived. http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=2457&dat=19970124&id=ugxbAAAAIBAJ&sjid=Qk4NAAAAIBAJ&pg=3598,2346778

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Looks like a little donkey lives here now! Sorry I couldn’t get a better photo with all of this awful chain-link around.

Chatsworth’s 125th Birthday Celebration, continued
March 17, 2013

An old foundation. I’m guessing from the early part of the 20th century, however, we were told it does not date back quite to the stagecoach days. But close enoughImageImage

This is likely where the stagecoach road continued. Past this point, it crossed over Santa Susana Pass Road, and down into Simi Valley. These homes are filled with angry homeowners who don’t like people hiking ear their property, despite the fact they bought homes adjacent to a  STATE PARK!!!!!

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This is possibly where a horse corral used to be located. Fresh horses were kept here, so the tired horses that pulled the stagecoach could be traded for and given a rest.

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Over the rise, there is a pond that was once used to water the horses.

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Train tracks. Still in use, they were built in 1904. Amtrack, Metrolink, and freight use this line. Runs pretty much all the way up the coast.

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The homes along Lilac Lane (original path the stagecoaches took, on their way to San Francisoc from Los Angeles). Homeowners watch us, I assume to see if they can catch us doing anything wrong….

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Powerhouse Road. It’s hard to discern, but the water tower the train once ran to is in the middle, to the left.

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A view of a concrete ceiling. This is modern day Chatsworth.

Chatsworth’s 125th Birthday Hike
March 13, 2013

Chatsworth, CA is rich in horse history. Many of the old movie cowboys lived here or else worked in the studio ranches high up in the hills here. There is also a trail called the Stagecoach Trail, which really was used by stagecoaches in the mid-late 1800’s and early part of the 1900’s. There are many horse farms in Chatsworth, and Mr. Ed once lived here in a barn that still stands. Thoroughbred farms used to exist not far from here.

To commemorate Chatsworth’s birthday, 35 hikers trekked up the trail, including the dangerous portion of the old stage road known as The Devil’s Slide. Originally created by various wildlife traveling from one valley to another, the path was also used by Native Americans for literally thousands of years. In 1859 it became a stage route – an alternative to the famous El Camino Real to the south. An alternative to the Devil’s Slide was built just to the north in 1895. Running almost parallel to the Santa Susana Pass (which was built in 1917), this new road was known as El Camino Nuevo, AKA the Chatsworth Grade Road. This road still exists too, although is currently not accessible by automobile. One can still hike it, thankfully.

For more info on Chatsworth’s Santa Susana Pass State Historic Park and the history of the area, please read (info on the Devil’s Slide starts on page 16): https://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&q=cache:GEw5aEEP7MUJ:www.parks.ca.gov/pages/21299/files/chapter%25202%2520existing%2520conditions%281%29.pdf+&hl=en&gl=us&pid=bl&srcid=ADGEESgaZbVsHWq6azmVzkaCB3G4GTB8WOx2VSJAbfD_BNJP70EBIuwKN3mLS-52qX_VWya9Y7ACTJJFtChU9fuCTpGw8pEwohnJPMLjkiYExUiAVn7aQU6kUA-vJ3DbUX_vfQxldGxp&sig=AHIEtbSpPhPKGRcQgFbH-xxY5_pM8jkq5w

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The map at the Larwin entrance to SSPSHP.

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The entrance to Chatsworth Park south, with the old dynamite shed in the background.

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The old sandstone dynamite shed. Was reportedly used to store dynamite used in the rock quarry/quarries, and assist in building the railroad.

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You can see tunnel #28 of the active railroad here in the left hand side.

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Part of the old Bannon quarry operation.

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Bannon quarry

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This old sandstone quarry is a LOT more than just a pile of rocks, discarded after the quarry went out of business. It has a history. From 1898-1915 these rocks were used to build a few buildings (I believe one or two of them are still in existence), and to create the San Pedro breakwater. A spur line of the Southern Pacific Railroad assisted in bringing the sandstone out to San Pedro. It once led from the main line at Topanga Canyon, along where Marilla street is now, past Andora and up to the quarry.

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Look! Shadow People!!! And they wouldn’t get out of my way!! Anyway, notice the groove in the rocks. The quarrymen bore grooves into the rock; something to do with helping them move or blast open the rock. I don’t quite remember the details.

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Guess what this is? A Toilet! Well, that is what the experts think. They think there used to be an outhouse above this site; it was used by the quarrymen.

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Another toilet photo.

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And here it is. The old rail bed. A train once ran through here and, most likely, up to the old water tower you see in the distance here. This road is now known as Power House Road, and it does actually lead to a small powerhouse. View looking north-west.

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Old rail bed, now called Powerhouse Road, looking south.

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Hiking up toward the Devil’s Slide. You can see the bed of the active railroad in the upper left.

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View of Chatsworth Park

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The active railroad. And hikers.

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Another part of the Bannon quarry.

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Amazing! An old cistern used by Native Americans. They also used this to grind up acorns into a mash. Chumash, Tongva, and Tataviam people once lived  in and around Chatsworth Park.

Incredibly, at least 20 Native American archaeological sites have been recorded within the park.

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Next to the old cistern, this hole in the rock was used by Native Americans too. I forget the details now, unfortunately, but this area is in fact, an important archaeological site.

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The little cave and the cistern. I was standing on a large outcropping.

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Native Americans used this rock too, I think to dry out acorns and maybe other foods, but I’m not sure. Looks sort of like a dinosaur, doesn’t it?

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Active railroad and Powerhouse Road.

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And here we are. Ascending the infamous Devil’s Slide. This trek is almost as evil as the name suggests. Don’t believe me? YOU try walking it. And imagine traveling via stagecoach or mud wagon!!

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Beautiful day for a hike.

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Appears to be an old cistern in the Devil’s Slide rock.

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Close up of the terrain on the Slide. See what I mean?

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The modern day “Coast line”.

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Holes drilled into the rock by the stage crew in order to assist them in surviving traveling up and down the Slide.

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We have almost reached the peak. You can see the historic plaque in the distance.

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This marker was placed here in 1939 to commemorate the history of the famous stagecoach route.

More photos to follow!!

Herding at Pierce College
January 9, 2013

Goat herding demonstrations. This dog, possibly a Gordon setter mix, was inexperienced.

He/she mostly chased the goats around.

This border collie (or Aussie Shepherd mix?) was well trained and was brought in to help teach the black & tan dog.

This border collie pup got a lot of attention.

Breed Bigots stoop to new lows
March 3, 2012

We’re all familiar with the racist policies most apartment managers have these days. It’s difficult enough to find a complex that allows pets, but even when you do, they throw another hurdle at you: They either only permit icky “purse dogs” (One building has a 5lb weight limit on dogs. Good God. A hamster weighs more), or else they ban practically any breed worth owning. Recently, two local apartment corporations have stooped to new lows. Interestingly, both have complexes in Simi Valley – not a city know for its racial tolerance of people, let alone animals.

The worst offender is Sequoia Equities (They own Shadow Ridge and The Villas at Wood Ranch – and possibly others). Read just how psychotic their pet policy is: http://www.experienceshadowridge.com/p/apartments/pet_policy/simi-valley-ca-93065/shadow-ridge-apartment-homes-5404 

Yes, besides the usual victims, they even ban standard poodles, poodle mixes, basset hounds and ALL terriers save for Westies, Yorkies, and Jack Russells ( ehh, hate to tell them this, but Jack Russells can be very destructive dogs if kept in apartments). Even Dandie Dinmonts and fox terriers are banned!

But it just keeps getting dumber: one of their photos shows a dog snuggling with a cat. Interesting, the dog appears to be part German Shepherd – one of their banned breeds!!! Oh you’ve got to be fucking kidding me.

Another silly one is Fairfield Residential. They own Rancho Corrales in a toney section of Simi (seedy??) Valley. Among other things, their policy forbids dogs younger than 1 year old and most of the usual victims of breed discrimination, plus dalmations, huskies, and St. Bernards. They even require written approval for a bird or a fish. After their extensive list of banned breeds, they finish by saying, “We reserve the right to add additional restricted breeds at any time.” So in other words, all dogs are banned.

It is bad enough we have to deal with the usual breeds being banned. But these two corporations stoop to new lows and they must be stopped NOW. They need to learn that dogs are going to be the least of their concerns.

READ THEIR POLICIES, Call them now and give them hell.

Sequoia Equities: 1987 Ridgegate Lane, Simi Valley, CA 93065 (805) 328-3176 ‎

http://www.experienceshadowridge.com/

http://www.indianoaksapts.com/

Fairfield Residential: http://www.ranchocorrales-apts.com/

643 Country Club Drive, Simi Valley, CA 93065 | phone 866-847-3491

We welcome you and your best friend, too!

Looking for a new home for you and your pet? We are one of the few pet friendly communities in the area and enthusiastically welcome you and your pet (Some restrictions apply).

Pet Overview: Dogs and cats welcome. Your pet must be one year of age, have had health check and shots and be spayed or neutered. A signed animal addendum is required to be on file in our leasing office.

Deposit and Pet Rent: $500 deposit, $35 monthly pet rent

Additional Details: We also welcome your domestic pet if it is a bird or fish with written approval from our onsite management team. No reptiles or exotic animals please. Fish tanks are not to exceed 55 gallons.

Support Animals: If the animal is a service animal for a disabled person, pet deposits are not necessary and breed restrictions do not apply. A signed Letter Regarding Support Animals from a qualified professional verifying the need for the service animal along with proof of current rabies shots and licenses (if legally applicable) is required.

Breed Restrictions: We welcome all breeds of dogs at least one year old, except the following breed or mixed breed: Akita, Alaskan Malamute, Chow, Dalmatian, Doberman Pinscher, German Shepherd, Great Dane, Husky, Pit Bull Terriers*, Rottweiler, Saint Bernard and Wolf Dog Hybrids.* (including all Pit Bull breeds – American Pit Bull Terriers, American or Irish Straffordshire Terriers, Bull Terriers, Pit Bulls, American Bull Dogs, and Presa Canario.) We reserve the right to add additional restricted breeds at any time.