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Sunday, July 6, 2008

A Walk in the Park – No More

During my afternoon walk I noticed that while walking along part of the perimeter of Castaic Lake park that there was this big fence. It looked like it had just appeared out of nowhere. As I was walking I was wondering to myself if I had just not noticed it before and if it had been there all along. Perhaps it was just something I hadn’t really looked at previously, and now for some reason I was just noticing it. As I was mulling this over and contemplating my apparently not so great memory, I came to a point where I normally enter the park when I take my morning hikes over the weekend. There it was; the entrance was fenced completely off. They sure got this fence up fast! I’d never really thought about it before, but I would have normally thought of a fence like that as something that would take at least a week or so to put up. It sure as heck wasn’t there yesterday. I went out a little later to look at a couple other entrances to the park and they were also fenced off. I was wondering if the hikes I take Saturday mornings would no longer be possible. Will I now have to pay at the gate to walk into the park; I know they have always charged for vehicles to enter, but I’d always thought it was free to just walk or hike through. I then went to the guard at the gate and asked her; she assured me that they were only charging walk-ins for the Fourth of July event tomorrow, but not normally. Is all this new fencing just so they make certain no one gets in free for the Fourth of July event, no matter what! I looked at the fencing and noticed how ugly it looks. I suppose it’s not a total loss; heck with all the carefully guarded entrances and this nice new imposing barrier, maybe they could house inmates to help stem the prison overflow, build a training facility for Blackwater, or maybe if they get really ambitious they could build that ever-elusive Castaic High. All that’s needed is a little barbed wire and a few Rottweilers!

Scenic trails with a view of the lake have always proven excellent for hiking and jogging. Now I’m wondering if these ‘instant’ fences are going to start showing up within the park; so even if you can get past the gate, you’ll still just come to another fence. I am quite disappointed. When I moved here a couple years ago and discovered all the nice hiking trails I figured I’d come to the right place. Now I might as well move back to the San Fernando Valley. The little parks there are canopied with the brown haze of LA smog and are not nearly as picturesque, but at least they’re not all fenced off.

Todd Hoover
Castaic

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