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A drive-through tour of Griffith Park

It looked like most of Los Angeles was at the Griffith Observatory Sunday, looking at windstorm damage, because the parking lots were full and cars jammed into makeshift roadside parking places nearly a mile down the hillside. Observatory

My brother, sister and I, in Los Angeles for a family reunion, visited many of our old haunts in and around Hollywood (Floridians, note: I’m talking about the original Hollywood, in California), then drove up into Griffith Park, site of many of our childhood adventures.

The observatory, with its planetarium, telescopes and great old scientific exhibits, had been closed for four years while undergoing an expansion and major renovation, and we out-of-towners hadn’t seen it since. But after hurricane-force winds did so much damage last week that the park was closed for a couple days, it seemed everyone flocked to the park on Sunday to see for themselves how it had fared.

Some roads were still closed, but fallen trees had been cleared off others, although we saw a lot of splintered trunks and branches on those still standing. For those of us who have been through hurricanes, it looked like our yards after Wilma came through.

TraveltownWe decided not to fight the crowds to get into the observatory, but checked out most of our other favorite spots. Above, a photo of the observatory, seen from down the road; at left,  Travel Town, with its old rail cars.