California Trip – day 4 – Sturtevant Falls and Reese’s Retreat

Debi’s conference started on the 7th and I had no intention of going to evil Disney.  Instead, Toren and I once again took advantage of California’s hills and did some hiking.  Our first hike was to Sturtevant Falls:

Toren and I at the Falls
Toren and I at the Falls
Toren with his gun sticks that he collects everywhere.
Toren with his gun sticks that he collects everywhere.

Here’s a video I took of the “falls”:

Given the time of year, they aren’t really falls.  But the hike was nice.  It was just under 3 miles and Toren did almost all of it. Plus, there are a bunch of cabins all along the hike and people actually live in them.

Which, unfortunately, led to what happened next.  When we entered the park, I thought it was a little unusual that a National Forest was open, but I didn’t really give it that much thought.  The gates were open, so we drove in. But, on the way out, the gates were closed – and locked!  We were locked in a National Forest:

locked gate
locked gate

Turns out, the people who live in the cabins have keys to the gate and can open it.  Someone left it open, but it was supposed to be locked.  Toren and I, plus a few dozen additional people, drove in when the gate was opened and we got locked in.  Lucky one of the signs gave a number for the local police department, but they would only open it every hour on the hour.  So, we sat here for about 30 minutes waiting for them to open the gate.

We then stopped in Pasadena for lunch at a crêperie, which Toren loved.  After lunch we stopped at a park we found on red tricycle, the best site ever for stuff to do in LA with kids.  Toren and I looked at pictures of the best parks ahead of time and he found one that had a pirate ship play area.  It’s called Reese’s Retreat and is in Brookside Park, but it’s completely hidden.  You really have to know that it’s there.  I marked it on this map:


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Here’s Toren at the park:

Toren at Reese's Retreat.
Toren at Reese’s Retreat.

Toren played on the pirate ship for a while, then he headed to the large sandbox that has a couple of water outlets that run into it.  He eventually asked me to play with him.  Since just playing in the sand doesn’t really appeal to me all that much, I convinced Toren and one other kid to help me dig a trench that would steal all the water away from some other kids who had dug their own trench, orchestrating our own little water coup.  I was quite impressed with my ability to outsmart 6 year-olds.

After the park, we headed back to our hotel, swam for a bit, then went out to eat.  Debi was in her conference all day and into the evening, so Toren and I went to Bubba Gump Shrimp Co.  I had never been, but Toren loves shrimp, so I thought it would be a hit.  Turns out, not so much.  He didn’t like their shrimp, but I got him dessert, which he did love.

Toren coloring while we waited for our food.
Toren coloring while we waited for our food.

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