There was a good turnout of 37 walkers, but only one K-9 best friend at the Exedra last Wednesday when our Piedmont Recreation Department's Walking on Wednesdays group met for our weekly walk. We had our consistent good luck with the weather. The morning was nice, but the forecast was for this to be the start of a two-day heatwave.
Next Wednesday we are going to have our annual pre-Halloween Mt. View Cemetery walking tour, and we wanted to get into the Halloween spirit by looking for Halloween house decorations around the city. There were some good ones on Sea View Avenue and Hampton Road, and we thought we would find more along the way, so off we went.
We went up Highland Avenue and crossed it to go up the less walked Sierra Avenue. Right away on the corner was our first Halloween creatures sighting with an extra attraction. In front of the house was a strange looking scarecrow with a metallic wrap exterior that looked a little like Big Bird. It was explained that this was one of the sculptures that Piedmont elementary school students made for the Piedmont Harvest Festival. Each class creates a scarecrow out of recycled materials, and they are auctioned off as a fundraiser for the schools.
We made our way up Sierra and then a short distance on Sheridan Avenue to get to Lakeview Avenue. We climbed this long, fairly steep street and were pleased a number of redwoods shaded part of it, as it was starting to become obvious this was going to be a hot day. The story is that these trees were planted at the start of the 20th Century by a lumber businessman who lived
in a Sea View mansion, and loved this type of beautiful trees.
At the top of Lakeview, on the other side of Sea View, there was a larger than life or death ghost in front of a house greeting us. We were sure there were more like this down the street, and there was. The front yard of one beautiful home had been taken over by a set of even scarier Halloween
characters. The worst/best of them was a smiling, Joker-style clown popping out of a Jack-in-the-box. He was surrounded by skeletons and ghouls emerging from the ground. They were a fun, pretend-frightening sight at 11 in the morning.
We made our way down Sea View to Hampton Road and turned up it. Just before Hampton's intersection with Glen Alpine Road is a wonderful mansion that was designed by noted architect Albert Farr in 1926. It is known as the "Hampton House," and it had a set of life-size, playful, inflatable Halloween characters in front. There were dragons, ghost dogs, an octopus, a skeleton
riding on a motorcycle, and more. We decided they would be good additions to our attached group photo. In the picture it looks like a monster dinosaur was going to bite Albert C's head off, but thankfully it didn't.
It was also noted that this beautiful home is currently for sale. Zillow says it's an eight bedroom, nine bath, 11,870 square foot home with a tennis court, a rose garden, mature hedges and trees, a separate guest unit, a full-service generator, a well for landscape irrigation, and an asking price of $14,850,000. Ghosts and goblins are not included.
The temperature was starting to rise and we thought it would be smart to start back before it got too hot, so we turned down Hampton. We went past Hampton Field, down La Salle Avenue, and up Indian Road, passing more Halloween decked out homes along the way.
This Halloween house sightseeing was a fun way for us to start our countdowns to the always enjoyable, but not scary tour of the Mountain View Cemetery next week; and also get ready for all the wonderful, little trick or treaters at the end of the month.