The Hahamongna Series MISSING  LbNA # 22182 (ARCHIVED)

Placed DateMay 1 2006
CountyLos Angeles
LocationPasadena, CA
Planted ByLynne and Nat    
Found By MCFamily
Last Found Mar 25 2008
Hike Distance?

The Hahamongna were a Native American band of the Tongva Indians who lived in the Arroyo Seco area in the San Gabriel Valley of Southern California. Hahamongna means “Flowing Waters: Fruitful Valley.” The Tongva were also sometimes referred to as the Gabrielino Tongva tribe.

A park on the border of Pasadena and La Canada, California, once known as Oak Grove Park, was re-named Hahamongna Park, in recognition of the area’s early inhabitants. Nearby is the Gabrielino Trail, a 32-mile route through the Angeles National Forest.

To get to Hahamongna Park, take the 210 freeway to La Canada and exit at Oak Grove. Head east off the freeway, then turn left on Oak Grove. Turn right into the park (across from La Canada High School). Follow the road into the park; take the first left down the hill. Turn right at the stop sign and park in the lot next to the baseball field.

Your letterboxing adventure may take you into areas that have poison oak, stinging nettles or small animals. There is no great danger, but do step carefully.

Note: This letterbox series was conceived, designed, carved and planted by Brownie Troop #79. Enjoy!

The Hahamongna tribe lived in small family groups. They ground acorns to make food. They lived in thatched roof huts shaped like cones with openings at the top for smoke, so they could light fires inside the huts.

To find the first box, exit the parking lot on the south end. Follow the path over the bridge. At the fork in the path, go right. Go to the red bench and turn left. Follow the path to the left into the trees. Go under the tree limb hanging across the path. The box is hidden under the “V” trunk of the tree you just passed under, underneath a pile of logs.

The Tongva were a tribe of both hunters and gatherers, eating simple animal meats such as squirrels, groundhogs or wild turkeys. You will likely see some of their prey during your letterboxing adventure.

To find the “hunting” letterbox, go back and face the red bench. Cross the gully to your right by walking carefully across the downed log (or simply walking around, using the path). Go southwest into the clearing. Walk south toward another red bench. Follow the path past two telephone poles. Go 40 paces past the second pole and veer right on the path that goes up into the wooded, rocky area. Stand on the platform facing west. Look up to the rock wall. The box is hidden under the spot where the tree trunk touches the wall, on top of a mossy piece of wood, hidden by rocks.

The Tongva built canoes to navigate the ocean using planks sewn together and coated with tar. This was unusual, since most area tribes carved their canoes from tree trunks, creating a boat from a single log. The Tongva’s canoes are believed to have been more seaworthy.

To find the next box, return to the platform and follow the path to the north to “Yellow #4.” From there, go straight up the hill. Turn left on the trail and follow the path for a while. Go past a large oak tree with rocks stuck in its roots on the right. Just before you get to the SECOND picnic table on your right, look for the tree with three trunks on your left, at the side of the path. The box is hidden under rocks at the base, behind the tree.

The dolphin was a sacred animal of the Tongva people. According to legend, a Tongva Chieftain was being chased by an enemy somewhere in Topanga - where the mountains meet the sea. He came to a cliff and dove into the sea to avoid capture. As he fell, he changed into the dolphin. He now swims around the world, staying ever vigilant and alert to ensure the safety of the Tongva people and caretaker of the ocean.

To find the final Hahamongna box, continue south on the path that led you to the Transportation letterbox, following it until you see an orange rail in the distance. Go past the orange rail and horse trough on the right. Go down the hill. At the fork in the trail, go right toward the palm tree. Stay on the trail, going past the palm tree on your right and proceed up the hill. At the road, turn right. Go to the beginning of the chain link fence and stop. The box is hidden three steps down the hill, under the cement "bridge".

Your hunt is over, hope you enjoyed it. You can return to your car by retracing your steps or simply following the road past the final letterbox back to the baseball field.