Stairwalk with Charles Fleming and Bungalow Heaven

For his February stairwalk, “Secret Stairs” author Charles Fleming, took stairwalking enthusiasts to Mt. Washington, which is walk #5 from his book.

Charles Fleming

Charles Fleming

Charles met everyone at the metro station and we did the walk in reverse than what it is in the book.  It seemed easier this way since we were walking down some of the longer stairs instead of up.  After about what seems to be half way, a woman who lives in the area saw us and suggested to Charles that we take a short cut across a field.

stairs up stairs downHe had heard about this shortcut but didn’t know exactly where it was so the woman led us. arched plant

Shortcut

Shortcut

Actually, I was a little out of breath after climbing up the stairs and was glad Charles decided to take the shortcut.

After taking the shortcut we arrived at the Self Realization Fellowship.  Formerly the Mount Washington Inn, the bankrupt property was bought by Paramahansa

Former Mt. Washington Inn

Former Mt. Washington Inn

Yogananda in 1925 and turned into the international headquarters for SRF.  The Center, closed Sunday mornings for services and meditation, was closed when we arrived.

Self Realization garden

Self Realization garden

I have been to the SRF a couple of times and on previous visits was able to stroll the beautiful grounds with its meditation garden, Japanese garden, and wonderful vista of Mount Washington and surrounding areas stretching out as far as the eye can see.  SRF is open every day.  On Sundays it opens at 1:30.

A railroad took visitors from the bottom of Mount Washington to the hotel.  The roads were unpaved dirt roads and with the advent of the automobile, the dirt roads weren’t accessible by car. Also with the automobile, people were traveling further distances.  Eventually, the railway company declared bankruptcy and the hotel closed. The

Outside gate of Self Realization Fellowship

Outside gate of Self Realization Fellowship

train’s ticket office is now an apartment building and sits across the street from the Southwest metro stop.   It is here that Charles ended his walk.

Metro station

Metro station

My friends and I hopped back on the metro and took it a few stops where we got off and walked to Roscoe’s Chicken and Waffles.

Hearing rave reviews about the food, I have always wanted to eat here.  In 2012, the restaurant was voted best soul food in Pasadena and CBS declared it

Roscoes Chicken and Waffles

Roscoes Chicken and Waffles

as having the best macaroni and cheese.  Roscoe’s did not disappoint and we all enjoyed our food immensely.

Afterwards we continued our journey and walked a short distance to an area known as Bungalow Heaven.  These early 20th century craftsman style homes were built during the arts and crafts period and are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.  We were able to go inside a couple of these homes; one was for lease and the other for rent.

house3 house2 house1

I’m not sure how many miles we walked but it was a full eight hours, minus the time we were sitting to eat.  I sure felt it in my legs the next day.

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