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Urban Wilderness

Smiley’s Lookout ~ Westchester

6:46 AM PDT on October 19, 2006

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Arizona Circle ~ Westchester

Hiking up this hill with my two wheeling iron horse, I paused to ponder a scenic barbed wire gate- the kind of gate that seems to say, "Why climb over my barbed wire, when you can climb around it!" Alas, the gate was unlocked and no "Beware of Chucky" or restricted access signs to note. Where did the path on the other side lead? Nowhere- but to a most beautiful green nowhere.

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Closing the gate behind me, I wondered if this terrace irrigation trail could lead me around the entire Westchester bluffs overlooking the swath of devastation wrecked by "Playa Vista project" developers on the Ballona Wetlands. The ride was puntuated by mounds of rubble where the irrigation channels dropped down hill. The path dead ends, practically, on someone's front lawn overlooking the steep hillside. A brief, yet spectacular excursion. Lush greenery, perfect lookout spot, and diverse flora evidently tended by the residents. Markings dating from 1991 and earlier indicate this is Smiley's spot.

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Westchester ~ CA

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