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Take a Hike | Commentary by Dianne Erskine-Hellrigel
| Sunday, Aug 14, 2016
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Palo Comado
 

DianneErskineHellrigelThe Community Hiking Club is hosting an art and photo exhibit at King Gillette Ranch in the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area to celebrate the National Park Service’s 100-year anniversary. Photos and paintings will be on display at King Gillette Ranch from Sept. 12-21.

Are you an amateur painter or photographer? Then you are eligible to enter this contest and have your work displayed at this event. The subject matter of each photo or painting must be something within the various parks within the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area. Anything that strikes your fancy, be it a bug, a tree, a bird, a building, kids playing in a picnic area or hikers on a trail – it’s all welcome.

If you intend to enter, get a full list of rules and information, and an application. The application must be turned in along with your framed artwork. You must include wire on the back of your framed piece for it to be displayed. You can enter color or black and white photos. You can enter oil, acrylic or water color paintings.

Prizes and ribbons will be awarded in each category, and artists will be honored with a catered reception at King Gillette Ranch. Come on out and join us. It will be tons of fun, and you just might make a new friend or two.

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Paramount Ranch

The Community Hiking Club is offering hikes in the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area to make it easier for you, and more fun as you hike with other nature enthusiasts.

Palo Comado photo excursion will be Sunday, Aug. 14. To join us, meet outside the gate at Towsley Canyon at 7 a.m. to carpool to Palo Comado at 7:15 a.m.

Solstice Canyon photo excursion will be Sunday, Aug. 28. To join us, meet outside the gate at Towsley Canyon at 6:30 a.m., to carpool to Solstice Canyon at 7:15 a.m.

Paramount Ranch will be on Monday, Aug. 29. To join us, meet at Placerita near the steps of the museum at 8 a.m. to carpool the Paramount Ranch.

Circle X Ranch photo excursion will be Sunday, Sept. 4, and will be the last of the hikes the Community Hiking Club will offer for this exhibit. To join us, meet outside the gate at Towsley Canyon at 6 a.m. to carpool to Circle X Ranch at 6:10 a.m.

Split Rock at Circle X Ranch

Split Rock at Circle X Ranch

Palo Comado is known for its interesting rock outcroppings like the Baleen Wall. This area was originally a ranch and was grazed for many years, making way for the growth of slender oats and other non-native species.

But you can still find an outstanding savannah of valley oaks and coast live oaks in a riparian zone. There is a sulfur spring here. If you get close, you’ll likely smell the odor of rotten eggs. The rolling hills and oak trees make for beautiful photographs. This area is also loaded with wildlife, so keep your eyes open for bobcats, coyotes, bunnies and birds.

Solstice Canyon has the ruins of a 107-year-old hunting cabin, the ruins of the very interesting Keller House that was designed by the architect Paul Revere Williams. In 1929, Williams became the first African American member of the American Institute of Architects. Next to the Keller House you will find the gentle Solstice waterfall, and very near the waterfall is a hidden and secluded spiritual enclave.

Solstice Canyon

Solstice Canyon

Paramount Ranch has been used by Paramount Studios since 1923 as well as other studios for films and commercials. In the 1950s, a Western town was built there, created for “The Cisco Kid.” Recently “The Mentalist,” “Weeds,” and Hulu’s “Quickdraw” filmed here. Common wildlife to been seen here include the red-tailed hawk, acorn woodpeckers, coyotes and deer. Paramount Ranch is home to coast live oaks and the rare valley oak.

At Circle X Ranch you will be hiking the Mishe Mokwa trail to Split Rock and Balanced Rock, two of the area’s most interesting rock features. The sandstone outcroppings and the chaparral make beautiful scenic photos.

If you would like a full description of each hike, an application, and the rules and information about the photo/art contest, send email to the Community Hiking Club at zuliebear@aol.com. Professional photographers or artists are not eligible. This is an amateur contest only.

If you plan to attend a hike with us, you will need to bring at least 2-3 liters of water, electrolytes if it is a hot day, lunch, snacks, and wear long pants, a hat and good hiking boots or shoes with good tread. Please do not bring dogs with you for these hikes. Be sure to wear sunscreen and watch out for rattlesnakes along the trail.

I’m looking forward to seeing you all on the trail. This event has been brought to you by the Community Hiking Club of Santa Clarita and the Rose Foundation.

 

Dianne Erskine-Hellrigel is executive director of the Community Hiking Club and president of the Santa Clara River Watershed Conservancy. Contact Dianne through communityhikingclub.org or at zuliebear@aol.com.

 

 

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