Sunday, June 28, 2009

Will Rogers State Park

Staycation has come to an end, spurred by a trip to Will Rogers State Park in the Pacific Palisades with a "Triple H" (shout out to my WWE groupies!) of cool things to see and do: hiking, history and horses.

For the hiking, there's a moderate 3 mile round trip trail called Inspiration Point, along with other loops and routes. On a clear day, atop Inspiration Point, you can see out to Catalina Island, and on any day get a beautiful view of the Santa Monica Mountains. As a bonus, I tried out the panorama feature on my camera to great amazement, and, yes, I was inspired!

For history, the park area once belonged to Will Rogers, who was the "man of all media" in his time (he died in 1935) and left his mark in many arenas. Extremely talented as a roper, Will started in vaudeville before taking his skills to Broadway in 1916 with the Ziegfeld Follies as a "filler" between the real acts. His banter during his shows led him to Hollywood movie stardom, as well as radio show host. In 1934, Will started writing a daily telegram from wherever he was, and his post -- almost like a daily blog post -- was published in newspapers around the world. Again, I was inspired! His 1928 home is open to tours and is highly recommended as an opportunity to hear more about the historical impacts he made.

Finally, Will loved his horses, from his "trick" horses to his polo ponies. Today, his polo field is the only remaining outdoor polo field in Los Angeles County. Matches are held on weekends, and, even though I don't really get the nuances of polo, I recognized when the ball was hit in the right direction and goals were scored. Yeah!

And on the subject of horses, I'm going to get on my high horse for just a moment and request that when you visit this - or any other - state park, you pay to park in their lot. Yes, you can park in the neighborhood and just walk in, but our California state parks are on the budgetary chopping block. Fees collected from parking fund operations and verify that people are visiting.

I hope you're now inspired to explore these great resources over at Will's place, and to pay the $8 in an attempt to keep the park open. Giddyup!

Click here to go to their Web site.

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