Sounded good to me. As you see from the map, the Red Car Property is a strange, bent finger of land, than runs between people’s back gardens, and not really very long, less than a mile end to end. (It's the red bit, I thought it should be clickable but apparently it's not. Blogger eh?) There have been various attempts to redevelop it, including a plan to build new houses there. LA is, of course, the home of the impossible real estate plot, but even so it’s hard to imagine how that would work, the land in the corridor is more or less flat but it rises sharply on one side, drops sharply on the other, there wouldn’t see to be room for both houses and an access road. In any case, so far it’s come to nothing.
I know bits of Silver Lake reasonably well, but not this part. I used the map and information from a website named www.modernhiker.com. I gained access at the corner of Alessandro Way and Lake View Avenue, right opposite the Holyland Exhibition which alas was closed when I was there.
Initially the route runs alongside a chain link fence above the freeway, then widens out into open land, a desire line running across the middle, before narrowing again, and remaining unpaved as it takes you between people’s houses and back yards. This land isn’t public, and it certainly doesn’t belong to the properties that line it, but as is the human way, the locals have spread themselves, encroached, extended their gardens, parked multiple cars and trucks on the land. Someone seems to have made a shrine to a dead pet, at least one hopes it’s a pet. And nature has played is part too: there are escapee yuccas and cacti cascading down the hillsides.
In various places as you walk along you can see multiple main roads, you’re in sight and loud earshot of the freeways, and you can see mountains and indeed Forest Lawn cemetery in the distance. It’s a very LA landscape at certain points, at others it feels like you could be in rural Arkansas.
Like I said, it isn’t a very long walk, there and back is just a couple of miles, although it’s easy enough to extend it in various directions. Journey’s end, such as it is, is an arrangement of concrete blocks set on a hillside above Riverside Drive. I have read that these are known as the Stonehenge of LA, but I’m not sure to whom. In fact this City of Los Angeles Historic Landmark # 770, and the concrete blocks were once the footings of the Pacific Electric Red Car Viaduct.
A website called http://redcarproperty.blogspot.com/ has pictures of the Red Car line, including the viaduct (above), but it takes a pretty enormous feat of the imagination to picture exactly how this fits with the current topography. As you see, at the time I was there someone was using the footings as bases for art works.
As for the haunted hiking, the ghost train, the skeletons of abandoned cars and machinery, the relics of the big red cars – I didn’t see a damn thing. Maybe I was distracted or unobservant or preoccupied, but I suppose it’s in the nature of ghosts that they only show themselves to certain people.