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Don't Pay at the Pump: Bus to the Trail

Follow Dan Koeppel and photographer Michael Darter as they jump a magic bus in L.A. and camp in Angeles National Forest. You may never drive again.
(Photos by Michael Darter, www.michaeldarter.com)
  • The group heads out on a three-day trek. Their first obstacle: big packs, crowded bus.
  • The 32 miles of walking included quite a bit of road and sidewalk hoofing.
  • Dan invited companions already inclined towards alternative transportation: bike messengers.
  • Despite warnings of rattlesnakes and mountain lions, the group heads for the San Gabriels.
  • Trail Canyon path begins along a shady creekbed & passes a year-round waterfall.
  • After two summits, a brief trip on the PCT helps the group back to L.A.
  • A rare specimen, Pinaceae cones, not often found in L.A.
  • A beautiful view to the right, miles of tire tracks underfoot.
  • The juxtaposition of two energy sources--or a pretty sunset.
  • Sometimes, even the best-laid plans require some last-minute adjustments.
  • By letting someone else do the driving, the trip to the trail becomes a relaxing jaunt.
  • Camp shoes get more action on an eco-friendly commute to the trail.
  • The sign said: "MARIACHIS - HAPPY HOUR MARGARITAS - $2.00."
The group heads out on a three-day trek. Their first obstacle: big packs, crowded bus.
Image 1 of 13

The group heads out on a three-day trek. Their first obstacle: big packs, crowded bus.

READERS COMMENTS

Page 1

I've been living in Turkey for the last six months, and I've taken at least a dozen day or weekend trips above treeline (not always summits, though as spring and late-fall weather here can be unpredictable), using strictly mass transit. The same works in Georgia, Bulgaria, Italy, and it's great. You also have the advantage of not having to come out where you started. Keep going uphill until you reach the top, and then head down whichever way you please, because there's bound to be a village with a bus stop down there somewhere. It's a new thing for me, having grown up in WIsconsin 1000 miles from the nearest mountains of note, but I'm definitely going to be biking out to the Superstitions when I get back to Phoenix (it's only 20 miles from the last light-rail stop...)
— sam


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