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From burnout to Inspiration

Outdoors again imposes itself on a reader. This time, Scott Crawford, 46, climbs with Times photographer Annie Wells from the hills of Palos Verdes to the sea.

September 30, 2003|Scott Crawford

I sell real estate, and it's a very dog-eat-dog world. This hike is my little getaway. I live in Lomita, and in 20 minutes I can be in the middle of nowhere. I started traipsing through these hills as soon as my friends and I got our driver's licenses, but I've been doing this particular hike for three years -- the terrain is slightly hilly, and it has beautiful ocean and golf course views. You can be burned out, but once you get out there and breathe the salt air, it does a world of good. We start at an elevation of 600 feet, then walk down to sea level and go back up. Sometimes we spot nude sunbathers. One vista that we seek out used to have a house from the 1930s, but it burned down a couple of months ago. It's on a nice bluff. Our ultimate goal is Inspiration Point, where there's an archery range and a nice big shady pepper tree at the bottom. We've had some pretty good birthday celebrations under that tree.

The particulars

Where: Portuguese Bend area of Rancho Palos Verdes.

What: Four-mile hike from a 600-foot elevation in the hills down to the beach and back. With so many twists and turns, it can easily expand to 10 miles.

How: Take Palos Verdes Drive South to Forrestal Drive, then head north to Ladera Linda Community Center, 32201 Forrestal Drive. Park in center's lot.

Back story: Spanish explorer Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo first described Palos Verdes Peninsula in 1542, but Gabrielino Indians lived there undisturbed for almost three more centuries. The original land grant for Rancho de los Palos Verdes ("ranch of the green trees") was given to Don Dolores Sepulveda in 1827. Last year, another Don, as in Trump, bought the 17 1/2 holes of Ocean Trails Golf Course that have not fallen into the ocean.

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