Filmmaker Nick C. Johnson fell in love with the mountains and hiking after he moved to Los Angeles in 2011. (He's from Chicago, says his girlfriend Jessica Janos.) He hiked the John Muir Trail last year and has his sights on the Pacific Crest Trail. Earlier this month he took on the Backbone Trail across the Santa Monica Mountains. He walked the whole range in a 69-hour marathon, starting at 10 p.m. on Dec. 14 in Griffith Park and walking alone through the dark (you wonder if P-22 knew he was there and perhaps was amused) along trails and on Mulholland Drive. He crossed the 101 and 405 freeways — just as P-22 must have in the other direction — and checked out some of the overlooks.
Johnson visited the Nike missile site along Mulholland between Brentwood and Encino, met up with some other hikers and saw deer, a coyote and a fox. He caught a few naps and waited out an overnight rain storm in his hammock. The 27-year-old met up with Janos at the coast on the Ventura County end after sunset on Dec. 17.
"I really wanted to hike the whole backbone trail since it was recently completed, but I found out the original plan had the trail covering the whole Santa Monica Range from Griffith Park to Malibu, so that's what I decided to do," Johnson says. "All in all it was a pretty fantastic trip."
Here's the 12-minute video.