Tag Archives: California
I walked by the little boy and his dad, the former standing on the shoulders of the latter inside the partially hollowed out trunk of a giant redwood as mom took a picture. How many such awestruck visitors had stopped by that tree, I wondered. From native peoples to early settlers, from those out to make a fortune in the gold rush to hungry loggers, from geologist to wanderer to father to child, many must have similarly looked up and futilely contemplated where exactly that coarse, wet, stringy deep red trunk tapered off to a point, or exactly how long it had actually been around.
In many ways, an ideal return to the road this day had become, a clean break from stolen bikes and locked keys and difficult parking and familiarity. I was back on the road, every mile a new one once again.
I wanted to visit all the same great restaurants and coffeeshops and bars and bookstores and parks and scenic spots. And then I wanted to do much more. I had plenty of neighborhoods to explore, new people to meet, more day trips to take, food and drink to try. And I’d budgeted three full weeks – how could I not do all there was to do here in three full weeks, I thought.
Rain here seems to take this form; downpours are rare. It’s only this soft series of raindrops that makes you not want to open your umbrella but leaves you wet enough to regret that decision.
I stood on a rock and looked down. 400 feet down, with a tumble of jagged rocks in between, waves crashed against the cliff wall. The Pacific Ocean began there and went on as far as I could see, meeting the sky at a distant horizon. The cliffs, though, were the story.
It stretches from the Mexican border to the Canadian border, hugging the dramatic western coastline nearly all the way. Towards the south, it’s more gentle, featuring some of the more famous beaches and beach towns in the country: La Jolla, Santa Monica, Malibu. The dramatic cliffs of Big Sur interrupt for a mind-numbingly beautiful stretch before the white sands of Monterey and the surfers of Santa Cruz.
Thursday became an explore LA day because I’d found what looked like a nice beach house in Redondo Beach to spend the night. I wondered if that would bring a different side of LA.
People who fly into LAX get to see Los Angeles beach-first, which beats the unending suburban sprawl I faced as I drove into town from the east. Nearly sixty miles outside the city, strip malls and housing developments start showing up.
When I lived in the Lower Haight a few summers ago, I used to open the big bay windows in the living room and bedroom window to feel the breeze. It would wake me in the morning, the fresh smells and cool touch helping me get out from under the cocoon of my down blanket.