Travels along the L.A. River with Briar

August 26, 2009 § 3 Comments

Tim and Briar on the L.A. River Lario Bike Path under PCH in Long Beach

Briar walking (perhaps napping) on the L.A. River's Lario Bike Trail under the Pacific Coast Highway Bridge in Long Beach

Creek Freak is pleased to share the following emails from Tim Kirk who, with his daughter Briar, has been exploring the Los Angeles River. I really like what he has to say (below) about our waterways giving us some sense of place. He says it better than I’ve summarized it – read below.

I present his words here, though I’ve added a few links and interspersed some of his photos. Click on any of the photos to see larger images at Tim’s river photo gallery. Thanks, Tim for promoting my book, so I don’t have to.

In early August I received this email:

“Hey Joe,

Briar's first L.A. River Trip - in Atwater Village

Briar's first L.A. River Trip - in Atwater Village

I wanted to thank you for your excellent book on the LA River.  My daughter and I are walking the LA River in pieces.  We started when she was 5 months old and she is now 15 months.  Our first treks were in Atwater Village and headed south through Frogtown.  We walk 2-3 miles, looking for a place to pick up our trip next time.  Having completed this, we then headed north and, in this fashion, made our way through all the walkable parts of the river up to Lake Balboa.  We did a few side trips to tributaries along the way.

We just discovered your book.  Our good friend, Dominique Dibbell sugggested it (she interviewed you when she was editing the Sierra Club magazine.) It has been a blast to read about the areas we have already walked.  We are now headed south and have done two of your walks (Chinatown & The Estuary).  We are also exploring the Arroyo Seco.

Here is a link to our flckr site with an ongoing photo essay of our journey.   I hope you get a kick out of it.

Thanks again and if you see us walking along, say hey!

Tim Kirk (and Briar). 

and here’s a second email I received in mid-August:

Hi Joe,

We’ve been busy on the river.  We made that final trek down to the bay in Long Beach, which was a blast, and the reason for this note: to thank you for the excellent description in your book of the parking situation, and the byzantine trek from there to the river — I doubt we would have found it otherwise.

Briar along the Arroyo Seco in Highland Park

Briar along the Arroyo Seco in Highland Park

We had a fun hike today.  We’ve been heading north on the Arroyo Seco, and finally connected with an earlier walk, at the Archery range.  Next, we’re going to see if we can find a spot to continue, above the Rose Bowl.  Here’s the link again, if you want to see some pictures

This continues to be a cool experience to share with my daughter, even more so as she gets older — now nearly 16 months.  I know that traveling the river has changed my head significantly, my geographical sense of LA has shifted and I feel a certain sense of connectivity between the disparate parts of the city that the river links.  I’m excited for Briar to grow up with this awareness, which I hope will be part of her identity as an Angeleno.

All the best,

Tim Kirk

Briar rides the Rattlesnake Wall in Studio City

Briar rides the Rattlesnake Wall in Studio City

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§ 3 Responses to Travels along the L.A. River with Briar

  • Jamie says:

    great to hear about your book! I’ve followed Tim and Briar’s treks with delight. I also have a big heart for the river, and rivers and creeks in general. Thanks for helping us explore, and validating our love and experiences!

  • Jessica Hall says:

    beautiful notes from Tim. Thanks Tim! Creekfreaks! We’re happy to receive your stories!

  • Samuel Kirk says:

    Thanks, Tim, for sharing the river explorations that you and my granddaughter, Briar, have shared. I think it is a grand idea, and an adventure(s) that she will always remember, especially because it was/is with her Dad.

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