Mount Lowe, five years after we moved here

Posted on Posted in Being Human, Fat Ass Frida

We bought our house nearly 5 years ago, and while it took only a few months of renovations before it was really ready for us to move into the place, it took us this long before we’ve been hiking up in the foothills behind our house.
At the top of Lake Avenue, there is a small trail head that leads to 2.7 miles of switching back and forth trails that ascend to the tops of the mountain. All this leads to the remnants of a resort that burned to the ground in 1910, and then was completely abandoned in the 1930s. I have no idea how people built that place, it is SO remote and completely surrounded by nothing but nature. There were apparently two-three trains that guests had to take to get to the top, with the final train being a special design that kept the car level even though the train was moving at a 30+ degree angle. A crazy inventor type named Lowe built it, he was a hot air balloonist, and an entrepreneur in the early days of Altadena’s forming. This resort had millions of visitors, even though it is a tiny place. It had a dance hall, a casino, and a generator that made all of the electricity needed to run the place. A strong wind storm caused the power lines to touch each other and spark the fire that destroyed the entire place. The casino – I understand that the wind actually blew the roof off of the place.
That’s all ancient history now, fun reading from our Altadena coffee table book, with only a slab or two of concrete and the outline of the building foundation. My legs are jelly and my neck is sunburnt from the hike up there, but the view was amazing and the rusting iron of the train gears is a not so gentle reminder that us of all are so very very temporary.