Altadena History in Mountain Trails
Mountain trails are great places to escape from the hustle of the city. I’ve come to this trail often. It begins where Lake Avenue and Loma Alta Street end in Altadena, CA. When you pass the gates, you will be entering Cobb Estate. This painting was done at the mouth of the long driveway which leads to the estate. The land was purchased in 1916 by Charles Cobb, a lumber magnate. At the end of the driveway, you’ll notice some masonry which appear to have once been a foundation for a house. It is, in fact, the remains of the mansion which was later purchased in the 1950’s by Groucho Marx. He intended to put a cemetery there, but later abandoned the project.
Further along these mountain trails, you’ll find abandoned mine shafts and water falls. An invigorating hike up the mountain trails will take you to the site where Mount Lowe Railway once ran. Little remains today but some cable drive wheels which serve as an historical landmark.
Mountain Trails for Ministry
Mountain trails can also be a place for ministry. I pitched my easel to paint en plein air here, expecting some curious hikers to stop by. I wasn’t disappointed. The person who spent the most time with me was Charles (not his real name). Charles was hiking alone. We first talked about the artwork, which led to a conversation about travel. Charles has traveled around the world several times. I told him of my few trips outside the US to Europe, Brazil and Mexico. He had been to all those places.
Then Charles began to ask some personal questions of me. It seemed as though he was hitting on me (making advancements for a relationship). He invited me to breakfast. Was Charles a homosexual? WWJD (what would Jesus do)?
He and I exchanged contact information (I gave him a Talent Search and pointed out my numbers on the back) and later made arrangements to meet at a restaurant. We met for breakfast about a week later. Initially we picked back up on out travels, but I was more interested in what God had in mind for this meeting. I began to share with Charles about my relationship with Christ. He said he too was a Christian. It’s difficult to explain how the conversation about spiritual things went except to use an illustration. Imagine you caught a fish. It was now in your hands, but was so slippery you could land it no matter how hard you tried.
At the end of the breakfast, we did the pleasant ‘this was nice, we should do this again’, but I don’t think either of us were excited about it. I haven’t seen Charles since then, but I might.