On a clear night 77 years ago, a beam of light hurtled across the night sky from the top of Mt. Wilson to Lookout Mountain near Mt. Baldy and back again.
With that, the speed of light was calculated with a measure of accuracy for the first time.
It's easy for people to travel to the Mt. Wilson Observatory and stand on the ground where Albert Michelson, the first American to win the Nobel Prize in physics, worked for four years to accurately calculate the speed of light in 1926.
Twenty-two miles across the San Gabriel Mountains, however, the site of the mirror that bounced the light back to Michelson is impassable to even the most-determined hiker.
The historic site on Lookout Mountain, located on the southwestern ridge of Mt. Baldy, is slowly being reclaimed by the rugged terrain, but two Claremont men are trying to make sure it doesn't happen.
http://www.dailybulletin.com/Stories/0, ... 01,00.html
> Twenty-two miles across the San Gabriel Mountains,
> however, the site of the mirror that bounced the
> light back to Michelson is impassable to even the
> most-determined hiker.
I am REALLY surprised to read that sentence.
I walked up Lookout Mountain (6,812') and Sunset Peak (5,796') in mid-1997 and it was closer to bare than it was to overgrown (and both mountains took just a few hours to visit from the parking lot).
While there was a short steep bit towards the top, it was not overgrown, and didn't seem like a difficult or epic hike at all.
I suppose that 5+ years of no trail maintainence could explain the overgrowth, but it was not "impassable to even the most-determined hiker", in fact I considered it very easy at the time (things may have changed since I hiked it)...
These mountains appear on the "Hundred Peaks Section Peak List" of the Sierra Club in LA, where they rate it as "Class 1, Moderate" and suggest 4-4.5 hours for the roundtrip of 4 miles and 2,300' of gain (they also mention a bit of bush to contend with).
The foundation of the place where the experiment was held is still there.