You ever have one of those weekends where you just don’t know what to do? For pre-planners like us we don’t tend to have those all too often, but this past weekend was an exception. After playing with the idea of summiting Mount Baldy, biking to Venice Beach or camping in some new place, we decided that since we will be going to Costa Rica this weekend (!!!) it would be best for us to lay low and relax a bit… ha!
After making a batch of carrot ginger juice (yum!), we were a good 60 minutes in and we were already starting to feel a slight case of cabin fever (this is pretty typical of us). Luckily, we remembered a few weeks ago that a friend had mentioned the Wacko Soap Plant located just off Hollywood Boulevard (map). He was super enthusiastic about us needing to visit, so with nothing but each other and a plan to explore, we hopped in the car and were off!
This place, dubbed as the 2nd happiest place on earth, is more notably one of the most unique and wackiest shops we have yet to discover. Originally a hand-crafted soap plant, turned ceramic shop, turned bookstore, turned pop culture toy shop, turned ground-breaking art gallery, this place is dripping from the ceiling down (literally) with unique gifts and ideas for the creative soul or those just looking for a few good laughs – because we all know there’s a little “wacko” in all of us:
After getting our fill of the wacky and nutty – pun entirely intended – we headed home for a night of grilling with the sunset and decided that the next day we would wake up early to climb at the Riverside Rock Quarry to hone in on our newly acquired lead climbing skills (previous post here) and to also hike up the incredible Mount Roubidoux!
Fun Fact: Mount Roubidoux, now a city park and designated landmark, was the site of the oldest outdoor Easter Sunday service in 1909! People would line the trail in their buggies and Sunday best and in the 1920’s peak attendance reached over 30,000! Check out this incredible old photo of the site:
Today, hundreds of people go to hike one of the many epic trails to the top, and on this occasion, we chose to park at Ryan Bonaminio Park (map) for its abundance of parking spots and great access to the trails.
There is the option of a smooth paved trail, great for those interested in biking, roller blading, roller skating or just strolling along, and for the more adventurous, there are wooden steps and uphill scrambles to challenge and excite! We chose to do a little bit of everything:
Roundtrip, this almost 3-mile trek took us about an hour and a half to complete, mostly because we spent the majority of the time enjoying the breeze, sights and sense of escape:
We even had some overhead visitors!:
Once we reached the top, we found plenty of fellow explorers, along with giant sized steps to the left and right- one set lead us to a majestically billowing American Flag and the other set guided us to an awe inspiring 40-foot Cross, the site of the first outdoor Easter Sunday service mentioned above:
Another gem that we found just to the side of the America Flag was the famous Peace Bridge built it 1925. It looks like the remnants of an old storybook castle built of old stone, complete with a Rapunzel tower – all we were missing was our white horse and perhaps some shining armor:
Overall, this hike was absolutely beautiful, great for novices and pro’s alike. We had the most fun exploring the multiple historic landmarks at the top and admiring the sweeping views of the Inland Empire below. Maybe next time we’ll bring that white horse along for the ride 😉
Be sure to check out our video of the hike!: