I have been photographing the LA River for about 6 years now and never in that time have I gone to see where it begins. That would be in Canoga Park where two channelized streams converge, Bell Creek from Simi Hills in the West and Arroyo Calabasas from the Santa Monica Mountains in the South. Their meeting forms a short flatiron shape with Canoga Park High School sitting atop it and laying back to the West.
I finally paid my visit there a couple of weeks ago and stood on a short bridge looking down on the confluence of the two channels. The day I was there the wind was howling down the channels, blowing leaves and grit all over and ripping off palm fronds from the trees and scattering them out on the streets.
Most of the shooting I do of the river is at the soft-bottomed spots along the Glendale Narrows, which is full of vegetation, and the wide channel under the bridges near downtown. It is s strange feeling to see the humble beginnings of the river here in this strange little area, completely concreted over.
Behind me a bull dozer was pushing some dirt around to be used for some final landscaping for the entrance to the LA River Bikeway, a project which when finished looks like it will span the entire 51 mile distance from here at Canoga Park to the river’s mouth in Long Beach. I’ll have to come back with my bike when it does.