Wednesday, June 22, 2011
Father's Day 2011
Although it was tempting to want to bar-b-que we decided instead to take a picnic lunch and go for a little hike in Solstice Canyon in Malibu. Well, you can't really call it a 'hike' - it was more like a walk - but a really nice walk. And with the "June Gloom" and cooler weather we've been having this year the temps were pleasant and the wildflowers are still very beautiful. We shared our picnic site with a bunch of acorn woodpeckers in the oak trees overhead, and further up the canyon there was a small flock of noisy black-hooded parakeets (also known as Nanday Parakeets) which escaped from homes long ago and have become permanent area residents. The trail, which used to be a road, is mostly flat and goes 1.2 miles to what's known as the Roberts Ranch House. From what I've read, Fred Roberts ran a successful grocery chain back in the 20s and 30s in Santa Monica. He hired a prominent African American architect named Paul Revere Williams to design and build a ranch house at the small waterfall in Solstice Canyon in 1952. Unfortunately, the house was destroyed by a fire in 1982 and all that's left are some of the stone and brick walls. It must have been beautiful and a cool place to be a kid - it looked like there were "rooms" with fireplaces all over, some not even connected to each other. But you can still see the pathways and fountains and some of the trees that were part of the original landscaping. It was a great way to spend the afternoon.