Tuesday, May 15, 2012

You Can Call It JPL

I haven't taken you to Hahamongna Watershed Park in a while. I suppose I've mentioned this before: nobody I know actually calls it that. We call it "JPL." For some reason we don't confuse the park with the aerospace research center. When someone asks if I want to walk dogs together at JPL I am not confused. I know they don't expect to wander among research labs and allow the dogs to pee on the telescopes. They mean Hahamongna Watershed Park.

Can you blame us? JPL is so much easier to say.

The reason for the nickname is obvious if you look at a map. The real JPL (NASA's Jet Propulsion Lab) sits perched sideways atop Hahamongna rather like a jaunty beret. And calling the park JPL isn't wrong; some of the earliest rocket experiments were launched there and even later ones have been tried on its sandy acres.

This view is closer to the Devil's Gate Dam than to NASA's JPL. The dam is close to the bottom of your map view, near the 210 freeway. (You can see it if you use the zoom in satellite view.) You can't see where I took this photo; it's off to the right, under cover of trees. But the Google shot of the dam looks relatively recent.

23 comments:

Bellis said...

I'm stumped - don't recognize those steps at all. Where are you?

They were going to call it the Rocket Lab, but they thought the idea of rockets being developed there would alarm people.

Found one small typo in my previous post so I just had to correct it.

Shell Sherree said...

When I visit someday, I'll make sure I name drop JPL so I fit in like a local. I love this view, Petrea. It looks warm, whether it was or wasn't at the time. {As I type with my fingerless gloves...}

Jean Spitzer said...

I'm going to have to visit this park, next time I'm in town.

Kalei's Best Friend said...

saw your comment.. only your page and altadenahiker's disappears after i have logged on..its totally weird

Steven said...

Beautiful photo! Makes me want to climb those steps and see the view from the top. Great eye.

Petrea Burchard said...

Bellis, of course I deleted the first deleted comment before reading your second comment. Sorry, I didn't mean to make it look weird.
You know the sheds just east of and very close to the dam. I'm looking south, between them and the driveway that goes up to the house that used to be an office. (I suppose that's closed now.) I put the camera right up to peek through the cyclone fence.

Shell, the weather's lovely here now. Not hot, not cold. This would be a good time to visit and your gloves sound very fashionable.

Jean, Boz and I would love to walk there with you. We'll bring Karin and Bellis.

Kalei, I wish I knew what the problem was! It does sound odd.

Steven, thank you. I won't tell you what the view is. What your imagination creates will be better than the reality.

Laura Monteros said...

I've never heard this park called "JPL", though I don't walk my dog there, so maybe it's the crowd I hang with. Usually I hear it called by its previous name, "Oak Grove Park", but second is Hahamongna, which is what I usually call it. Maybe just cuz I like that I know how to pronounce it.

Latino Heritage said...

I've never heard it called "JPL". It's always Oak Grove or the arroyo by JPL. I think Laura's right about crowds and names.

Petrea Burchard said...

Thanks, the both of you. I accidentally posted this last night and Laura had already told me this. I asked her to come back and set me straight again today.

Were two areas combined? The west (Hahamongna) and the east (Oak Grove)? Or has it always been one, big park?

I've known about Oak Grove Park on the east side but never thought of it as the name for the whole thing. I also haven't lived here as long as you two have. My neighbors all call it JPL, but maybe they're as new as I am.

Pasadena Adjacent said...

I've heard it called all three - but the first name I became familiar with was Oak Grove Park. Personally, I call it JPL

altadenahiker said...

Haha.

-K- said...

I guess its not too surprising that it looks awfully similiar to the park that closest to me - Franklin Canyon, off of Mulholland.

Very serene shot.

Petrea Burchard said...

PA vindicates me. Karin's not committing.

Kevin, I guess we think we're far from LA but we're still in the same climate/ecosystem/landscape. As for serenity, you know about framing.

Laura Monteros said...

Hahamongna hasn't been in use all that long...at least not in senior citizen years. I think the whole thing was Oak Grove, then when Pasadena started restoring the lagoon and surrounding area, they gave it the historical name. This was less than 20 years ago, I think.

The southern tip (along Oak Grove Drive) may still be Oak Grove. It's got oaks, anyway.

LONDONLULU said...

This is beautiful! And likely more bucolic and relaxing than the 'other' JPL. :)

Margaret said...

I've actually never been there. You will have to take me.

Katie said...

Very inviting path you've got there at John/Petrea Land!

Petrea Burchard said...

This particular path is currently off-limits, unfortunately. We're peeking through a fence. But there are other lovely, bucolic paths in the wide open space of Hahamongna/JPL/Oak Grove Park, some sunny, some shady. I'll be happy to take you, Margaret, and anyone else who'd like to go.

Ms M said...

Looks like a lovely place, regardless of what name it's called. Love the winding staircase; it has me wondering what the view is once you reach the top.

Petrea Burchard said...

The view isn't much from the top of those stairs, Ms. M. The prettiest view is the one we have when we peek through the fence! But I do like how this one sparks the imagination.

Adele said...

I went on a grueling bike ride once, a very long time ago, that began and ended here at this Whatever We Shall Call It Park. The ride was for Pasadena's Bike Week. I've always wanted to go back. Will have to make a point of it. Thanks for the beautiful reminder.

Laurie said...

By any name, it's gorgeous. Sigh.

Petrea Burchard said...

Adele, I'm totally impressed that you rode that far.

Thanks, Laurie.