Time For A Hike – And A Rattlesnake Encounter!
For this latest edition of “Hitch Hiking”, my wife Alex and I had a SHOCKING brush with danger while hiking just miles from our home in Beverly Hills California!
Franklin Canyon is tucked into the hills just north of Beverly Hills, and offers incredible views of West Los Angeles and Santa Monica – like this one!
Throughout the hike, I will add more information provided by the official website for the park, beginning with this description:
“Franklin Canyon Park rests on 605 acres near the center of Los Angeles between the San Fernando Valley and Beverly Hills. Within the park boundaries are chaparral, grasslands and oak woodlands, a three-acre lake, an ADA-accessible duck pond, expansive picnic grounds, and over five miles of hiking trails. The lake and pond serve as permanent and seasonal home for birds in the Pacific flyway.”
Alex and I drove the short distance to the entrance to the park, and set out for a hike…normally, we’d head north, but this time we walked south past the lake:
As you can see, there are many unique trees and foliage all along the path, which parallels the lake as you head south toward the entrance to the “ranch” hike:
It’s here that you can really get a workout, climbing up from the lake to a place high up in the canyon, which take you to spectacular views of the city…here’s a look at the path – which you can see here cutting across the hillside:
As you can see, the paths get steep and include some wooden planks that form steps across some of the steepest terrain – but it’s worth it as you head upward, because after a half hour, you rise closer to the southern edge of the park, and Los Angeles stretches out in front of you:
At The Top Of Franklin Canyon – Or Not!
Lots of selfies ensued as we celebrated making it to the top, and then we looked north and saw that we could go even higher:
But it was all worth it, because the higher you go, the more of Los Angeles opens up below – and you can see all the way to Pacific Ocean as well:
While we were standing at the top, we noticed a lot of Monarch Butterflies also enjoying the view – here are a couple of shots showing them almost close enough to touch:
Speaking Of “Close Enough To Touch” – Our Rattlesnake Encounter!
After this great hike up to the top of Franklin Canyon, we enjoyed the relaxed walk back down…until we saw four people standing on the trail staring into the hillside shrubs…we got closer and heard it: a very loud, angry hiss and a RATTLE!
There’s a reason it’s good to keep your ears open, because you can barely see the snake in this shot, but he’s there, hissing loudly, rattling his tail and arching up in a show of aggression…look closely at the middle of the picture:
Talk About A Shock!
After I put my heart back into my chest, we backpedaled quickly – then I took these pictures, and headed to safety, which was alongside a small marsh created by all of the recent rains in Southern California:
Here’s a bit more of the story of Franklin Canyon:
“The park has a history steeped in the forces that created the bustling metropolis of Los Angeles—oil and water. In 1914, William Mulholland and the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (DWP) began construction of a reservoir in upper Franklin Canyon to distribute water newly brought from the Owens Valley. The family of oil baron Edward L. Doheny used the canyon as a summer retreat and a place to graze and water their cattle. The Doheny family built the Spanish style home in lower Franklin Canyon in 1935.”
As you can see from these pictures, the park is surrounded by houses, because we really are just minutes from Beverly Hills and our house – and we are only a few houses away from where Janet Leigh lived – yes, this hike goes right past the star of Hitchcock’s shocking masterpiece:
Hitchcock broken so many rules when he released this low budget shocker – a film that was so controversial at the time for its horrific violence – most never seen on the screen!
Here’s the simple plot: a Phoenix secretary embezzles forty thousand dollars from her employer’s client, goes on the run, and checks into a remote motel run by a young man named Norman Bates, who has a very domineering mother.
Here is the six minute movie trailer, in which the Director takes you on a tour of the set – and some shocking teases to come:
Here is some great trivia courtesy of IMDB – let’s begin with the shocking shower scene:
Director Hitchcock originally envisioned the shower sequence as completely silent, but Bernard Herrmann went ahead and scored it anyway, and upon hearing it, Hitchcock immediately changed his mind.
That movie score is one of the greatest of all time, and no better utilized than in that moment. It was also unheard of for a lead character to be killed off in a film’s first half hour.
Anthony Perkins is brilliant as the tour bled Norman Bates AKA “Mother”.
When the cast and crew began work on the first day, they had to raise their right hands and promise not to divulge one word of the story. Sir Alfred Hitchcock also withheld the ending part of the script from his cast until he needed to shoot it.
That moment the film still shocks today!
For those who have been following along, here are the some of my favorite hikes I have posted so far, as well as the classic Hitchcock thrillers I talk about:
Hitch Hiking #6: London! “Frenzy!”
I will be going to the Annual Bloggers Bash in June and plan to retrace a few of Hitchcock’s steps from his thriller “Frenzy” – you can see more of that film here:
I also shared an amazing hike I took at the Grand Canyon:
Hitch Hiking #9: The Grand Canyon! Hitchcock’s ONLY Best Picture “Rebecca!”
Yes, that was an all-time favorite experience, and led me to the ONLY Hitchcock film to win best picture – see more about both here:
Let me know your most shocking encounter!
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