Hi Everybody--Here's my promised update, with more details on the hike this Saturday. I will post some pictures--as soon as I get around to it. The stats below are accurate, so you can plan your schedules accordingly.
Distance: 9.5 miles RT
Elevation Gain: 2300'
Duration: 5.5+ hrs. w. breaks
Dogs: A-OK on leash
Must Have: Hiking Shoes or Boots, 2-3 liters water, snacks, hat, sunglasses, sunscreen, jacket/hoodie--dress in layers, as it can be windy and definitely cool/cold at Inspiration Point.
We will meet at the entrance to the Cobb Estate, at the northernmost end of Lake Avenue, hike up to Echo Mountain, 15 minute break, then on to Inspiration Point via the Castle Canyon trail. We will return via the Sam Merrill trail, which is a pleasant change of scenery and moderate all the way down. Lunch or snack break at Inspiration Point.
The shelter at Inspiration Point, also known as the ramada--as in ramada inn--is technically "an open shelter designed to provide shade", which is pretty much what it is. For all you gringos, it translates from the Spanish to "arbor" or "porch." And "gringo" translates into a "non-derogatory term for a U.S. citizen", and "inspiration" into "inspiracion" and "point" into "punto de"........... (I am ashamed to admit these are the only words I know in Spanish, other than "caliente" which I confuse between "hot" as in temperature, with "hot" as in "hot", but it probably doesn't make much difference, until you tell someone how "caliente' they look.)
You can also check out the periscopes which will guide your vision to Catalina Island, Long Beach, Pasadena, and beautiful downtown Burbank, below.
The ramada was reconstructed, after some unspecified fire or two, by fearless leader Lee Zeebold, several other hiking dudes, a couple of women--unacknowledged, of course--and a few mules, as I understand it. The mules did not bring the timber, nails, and other construction materials, as that was left to the U.S. Forest Service which donated all of the materials, but not the labor, nor the Jack Daniels, it being left to the clever mules to fetch from BevMo and haul in, along with many six-packs of Coors Light. (All those empty beer cans must have been put to good use in underpinning the ramada, as certain engineers are said to have pronounced it indestructible.)
Come along on the hike and see for yourself!!!!