the santa monica mountains

Below is a picture of Eagle Rock, which is located in the Santa Monica mountains near Topanga Canyon.

Eagle Rock

And the following is a picture of the Trailer Canyon fire road, also in the Santa Monica mountains, and which is actually deceptively close to Sunset Boulevard, near the coast.

Trailer Canyon Fire Road

These were both destinations that Tom and I visited in the Santa Monica mountains during his years in junior high, high school and college. After Tom got his first mountain bike, a Miyata, we would take it with us to the mountains in the trunk of my car — and later, when he was old enough to drive, in the back of his pickup. Tom would ride his bike on the mountain trails, and I would hike. He would sometimes get miles ahead of me, and I might see him on the other side of a canyon and hear him calling, “Dad!” in the distance. Then, the next thing I knew, he was riding back into sight on the trail ahead. Probably for every mile I hiked, he rode at least ten on those outings.

Tom’s adventures in the Santa Monica mountains were a precursor to his later love for the mountains above Santa Barbara. Some of the trails and fire roads we explored in the Santa Monica mountains included the Will Rogers trail, the Backbone trail, Temescal Ridge Fire Road, the East Topanga Fire Road, Eagle Spring Loop trail, and the Paseo Miramar trail.

One of our favorite hikes was from Paseo Miramar to the Overlook, which provided a sweeping view of the Pacific. Another was the Eagle Spring Loop, which took us around, above, and onto Eagle Rock — which also provided a nice view of the canyons below.

To this day, when I’m hiking in the mountains, even here in Oregon, I halfway expect to see Tom ride into view on his mountain bike… or to see him waving at me in the distance and calling “Dad!” like he used to.












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