Posted by: GeekHiker | April 19, 2010

Geeky & (Sorta) Outdoorsy

It doesn’t happen often, or at least not so clearly.

But sometimes, I manage to be completely in touch with both my geeky side, and my outdoorsy side, in a single weekend.


I spent most of the day Saturday watching the Dr. Who Marathon on BBC America.  Oh, sure, I putzed around the house, did some filing, etc.  But, mostly, I just sat my arse on the couch and vegetated.

Funnily enough, I had friends in high school who were really, really into Dr. Who, but I wasn’t.  Maybe I just had to get older, or get to a point where I could appreciate the “Britishness” of the show, or something.

And while I enjoy the show, I don’t think I’m a die-hard fan.  I won’t freak out if I miss an episode (which is good, since my ancient VCR won’t see any channel above 99 and there just isn’t enough decent television on to warrant Tivo).

On the other hand, it had all the geeky stuff I love: from crazy plots to cool special effects to guys in rubber masks.  What a great way to completely and totally waste a Saturday.


Maybe as a consequence of spending all of Saturday at home, I really, really needed to get out of the house, and out of inside spaces altogether, come Sunday morning.

With my foot still sore, I decided to head somewhere I hadn’t been in all of my time in L.A.:

Although I’m not the biggest fan of “formal” gardens, I figured the terrain would be flat and the vegetation interesting.  It was not a disappointment.

One thing I have to say I like about the Arboretum, vs. other formal gardens I’ve been to, is that it practically begs you to leave the marked path.  Everything in the garden is well-labeled, and the place is blissfully free of “Stay on Path!” sings, encouraging exploration.  That tree over there, the really cool looking one that makes you wonder “where does THAT grow”?  Just head over and take a look!

The Arboretum is huge, at 127 acres, so I’m sure I racked up a few miles during the day.  Still, it wasn’t exactly roughing it (hence the “Sorta” in the title): mostly flat walking on clear paths.  Not exactly a “wilderness” experience.

But from the good (and reasonably priced) meal at the Peacock Café, to wandering under the tall Australian Eucalyptus trees, to sitting on a bench catching up on some reading, to just general slow-paced meandering, it made for a pleasant outdoorsy day.


Arboretum 02
Greens, yellows, reds… Spring at the Arboretum

Arboretum 01
One of the many peacocks on the Arboretum grounds

Flowers of the Sweetshade tree, native to Australia

Arboretum 04
The historic Santa Anita Train Depot, relocated from it’s original location (now the 210 freeway) to the Arboretum grounds, brick-by-brick

Arboretum 05
One of my favorite shots of the day: a California Poppy, so clear you can see the pollen on the petals

Arboretum 06
Looking from Tallac Knoll north to the San Gabriels

Arboretum Photomerge 01
“De Plane, De Plane!” – Okay, not really. It’s actually the 1885-built Queen Anne Cottage, used as the location for “Fantasy Island” back in the 70’s

Arboretum Photomerge 02
Looking across the Bauer Lawn and fountains towards the San Gabriels



  1. Peacocks in the park? Did you feel like a prince? 🙂 The Arboretum looks beautiful! I esp. like the California Poppy one.

    I like the new Doctor Who too, but since I don’t have BBC America, I have been watching it on Youtube. I was worried that the new Doctor (Matt Smith) would be too “young” for my taste, but he was great in the premier. Not addicted either, but every time I watched it I always enjoyed it. I actually like the spin-off Torchwood even more, but it’s been on hiatus for a long long time… 😦

  2. Nice, I will have to check out the Arboretum…

  3. I no longer have BBC America. I’ll have to check out YouTube. I started watching Doctor Who back in college. Always enjoyed the quirkiness of the British humor.

    We have peacocks i southern Omaha – escapees from the Zoo. I’ve they make a horrendous racket.

  4. Oh GH…my junior prom was at the Arboretum in 1993. Wow, long time since I’ve seen that place. I need to get back and enjoy it during the daytime! Have you hit up the Huntington Library yet? I hear it’s supposed to be great…haven’t been there since junior high or early high school.

  5. I love this post. I’ve been meaning to watch Dr. Who but I’ve been watching Farscape with some crazy-eyed intensity lately. 🙂

    the Arboretum looks beautiful! I would love to see that someday. Thank you for sharing beautiful pictures!!

  6. K – Nope, no princely feelings, as I have no feathered cap. 😉 I never had a chance to see Torchwood; guess I can always rent it now!

    Jean – Do. Not an intense “hike”, but a nice way to spend a day outside.

    Homer-Dog – Do they show it on YouTube? Yeah, they made a lot of noise at the Arboretum too…

    MelHeth – Hoping to make it to the Huntington sometime in the next couple of months. Want to meet for lunch?

    MissMcCracken – Farscape? Think I may have heard of it… 😉

  7. I couldn’t find Who on YouTube so I Bit Torrented the first episode. Haven’t watched it yet.

  8. Hahaa— Like missmccracken, I’ve been working through Farscape as of late as well! 🙂

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