Sunsets in California are amazing. I’ve had the pleasure of enjoying two spectacular sunsets over different beaches in the past 6 days. It has been nice to just watch the sun disappear into the ocean, with no snow gear on. Back home it was well below zero a few days ago, and here we are enjoying the mid-70s on the beach.
The past 10 days have been eventful. A friend and I climbed one mountain in the Santa Monica Mountains in Encino, in the valley. We watched the sun set and did the quick hike back. I did a 3-summit “peaking” hike last week. Peaking is when you climb up summit after summit in one hike. Since they were the small Santa Monica Mountains of Hollywood it wasn’t anything extremely difficult, but a fun climb nonetheless. My first mountain summit ended at the famous Wisdom Tree, the only tree to survive a forest fire there many years before. It’s a beautiful place where thousands of people have left their advice and thoughts with others seeking the wisdom of the tree. I read about a few struggles and some realizations other people shared, and left my own chunk of recently discovered wisdom for the future readers.
Next I hiked on towards the second summit, and once I was over that to the third I was next to the famous Hollywood sign in all its glory. I have to tell you, after seeing the Grand Canyon and the Arches, and all the natural wonders of this world, I was not excited. But, being in LA, it’s a must-do and climbing three mountains in one hike was quite a great workout. Later that day I opted to do another hike in Griffith Park at a canyon which happened to be on the other side of the Hollywood sign. I found a little ranch nestled beneath the sign where they do guided tours of the mountainous Hollywood hills.
As I mentioned earlier, I walked a few different beaches, climbing rocks and putting my feet in the water. Today I held a sea urchin and collected shells and dead crustaceans. I explored tide pools and saved a sock from being eaten by a seagull. This past weekend was fun as well, as my roommate and I did a 24 hour trip to Las Vegas. Vegas is about a 4.5 hour drive from LA. We stayed right on the strip and had a great time at a pool party/club and going to another one at night. We even saw a great cover band with elderly people dancing to their music. Different kind of fun and environment than my usual these days, but a fun experience as well.
I almost forgot there was another “hike” since last time. My friend and I explored part of downtown the other day, about 4 miles worth of it. We were checking out Koreatown and ended up going past the famous Wiltern Theatre, a little further away than we planned on walking. It was great to see the changes from neighborhood to neighborhood, reflecting the different cultures of the people residing there. Los Angeles may still be in the United States, but the best thing about here is the cultures from all over the world that fully exist within the city limits. You can walk from California to Mexico to Korea to Armenia, all in a few miles. This cultural boiling pot is fascinating to take part in.
I have so much more to write, but not enough time. I’ll be sure to blog sooner to keep them short. My next adventure is to San Fransisco by the Pacific Coast Highway route in a few days, and then off to Nevada for Christmas (with a Lake Tahoe trip snuck in there too). Here are a few pictures from the last week and a half, many more to come.