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National park tips: Before heading to the Washington Monument, make sure the elevator is working

5. The mission, the dead and the boulders

Bob Hope — who lived in the Toluca Lake area of the Valley for many of his 100 years — is buried here, and there's a memorial garden in his honor. At the San Fernando Mission Cemetery next door (11160 Stranwood Ave.), you can pay respects to L.A.'s first famous Valenzuela: Singer-songwriter Ricardo Valenzuela (a.k.a. Ritchie Valens), who died at 17 in a 1959 plane crash. (To find Valens' flat marker, look in area C, near the Stranwood Avenue entrance, near No. 248.) Next, leave the gravestones and head 10 miles west on California 118 to Chatsworth.
Genaro Molina, Los Angeles Times
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