View form the top of Griffith Park Trails. Photo by Melissa Martinez

On the sunny afternoon of Jan. 20, a few brave music teachers, students and parents turned out for the Neighborhood Music School (NMS) community hiking event at the Griffith Park trails.

This was my first time hiking, so I didn’t know what I was in for. The plan was a 40-minute hike to the observatory to reach the ideal location that resulted in a 360 degree view of Los Angeles, Hollywood, Burbank, Glendale, San Fernando Valley and Catalina Island. However, when we arrived at the Greek Theatre, we realized there were too many visitors and had to change our route.

We ended up taking the Charlie Turner Trail, known as “the long tray.” The trail started near the Greek Theatre and went around the hills located opposite the observatory. Our hike time almost doubled! And with the sun high above us, it seemed to get hotter with each step I took.

Most hills were steep and slippery and a few people gave up half way through the hike. But considering all the hills I had walked, I feared that if I went back, I would slip– plus I really wanted to see the view. By the time we got to the top, I was tired but satisfied with accomplishing my first hike.

The resulting view was amazing. I saw the buildings of Los Angeles, the observatory in the distance, the Hollywood sign was a couple of hills next to us, and beyond, you could make out the coastline. We got there at the perfect time because the sun was just starting to set. I patiently watched as I saw the sky turn from blue, to red orange and then dark blue. The city lights gradually come on as the sun sets.

The stars weren’t as many as I hoped for but I still got so see a couple of constellations. The way down to the observatory was so much easier and shorter and I was surprised to see that many people were just starting to make the journey up the hill.

We drove back to the Neighborhood Music School where students were picked up and taken home. I got home tired and hungry but still thinking it was all worth it. Office Manager of NMS Bernard Leon said it best, “[I] cannot believe we made it to the top!” I felt the same way.

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Melissa Martínez

A former reporter at Boyle Heights Beat and a 2014 graduate of Roosevelt High School, Melissa Martínez was the first in her family to attend college. She graduated in the Spring from Loyola Marymount...

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