Sunday, January 03, 2010

Little jewels

It's only been recently that I've discovered the fantastic outdoor opportunities we have here in Southern California, the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy. Not that we haven't hiked in the hills around Simi but the organization and extra programs the SMMC provides. Yesterday we explored parts of Franklin Canyon.

Franklin Canyon sits between the valley, right off Coldwater Canyon, and Beverly Hills. Since it was looking like a lovely morning we headed off to start our New Year's promise of getting more exercise.

It was listed as an easy two-hour docent led walk around the lake pointing out areas used in filming movies and commercials. The docent was very good. She had a notebook full of photos of the productions for all the stops she made and could give a quick description of the movie or TV episode that had been filmed there; and a lot had been filmed there. We also learned of the former owners, the Doheney Family. This was their "backyard" and it must have been a lovely ranch complete with guest quarters for friends.

From the classic Clark Gable movie, It Happened One Night; 1937 all the way through to the TV drama, NCIS, this small wooded area had been the backdrop for hundred of movies and commercial. Our docent had little anecdotes for each stop she made and she was quite funny and we were surprised when we ended back at the Nature Center and our two hours were up.

We will go back to Franklin Canyon for another hike but next we want to explore other areas here. There is an astronomer led moonless night hike in January that sounds great.

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