Sunday, May 09, 2004

I went to one of my true Happy Places today for the first time in eons. A couple years ago the trainer I was working with suggested I get some variety to the walking I was doing at the time, so he told me about the Westridge Sullivan Canyon trail in the Santa Monica Mountains. The first time I went I walked for 15 minutes and had to turn around. The next time I walked for about 25, and pretty soon it was 40. Note that each of these time increments was one-way, since I needed to get back down off the trail too. And each time I went I was exhausted, because the trail was uphill the whole way.

Once I got past the 40-minute mark it turned out the trail leveled off for a while and even went downhill a bit. Finally, on probably my 20th try I made it to the top—the “top” meaning the long-abandoned Nike missile launch site that is now the northern terminus of the trail. At that terminus I also got some information off the signage, which is more ample at that end just off of Mulholland Drive than the obscure Westridge Road site from which I started. It turns out that the trail is an 8.2 mile round trip with a 550-foot climb in elevation, all of which made me feel pretty damn good about the walk.

For the third or fourth time but the first time in at least two years, today I made it back to the launch site. My feet will kill me tomorrow, but it was worth it. Five minutes into the hike you might as well not be within 100 miles of LA; two quick turns, and you don’t see or hear the city for another hour. (Note: your mileage and time may vary, especially if you are a runner or biker rather than a walker.) I know of no more peaceful place in Southern California, and I only wish I could get there more often.

Other notes:

  • I got an interesting email from “Lindsey”, a reader and fellow blogger now linked to the left. Suffice it to say, Lindsey’s blog is now my only permalink to a professional escort. At least as far as I know, and in most of your cases I probably don’t want to know.
  • I finally watched Stagecoach last night. This is only a big deal because it’s one of a handful of movies I’ve taken out of the LAPL at least 5 times without watching. That’ll happen when they’re free and there’s no consequences to returning them unwatched. Now if only I can get through The Apartment sometime. Re: Stagecoach, though, I liked it for a couple of reasons. One is that I’ve watched a zillion of those 1960s-onward anti- or revisionist Westerns, but very few just plain Westerns. Secondly, I love The Man Who Shot Liberty Valence, which I can now see as a revisionist Stagecoach—even to the point of employing a lot of the same character actors. Finally, Stagecoach is also a proto-disaster movie, right down to the motley crew of characters with disparate useful skills.
  • I recently joined Friendster, and we’ll see how that goes. One bit of weirdness: 4 people list Mysteries of Pittsburgh or Mysteries of Pittsburg (sic) as one of their favorite books. I’m three people away from all 4 of them, and through 4 different people. Odd.
  • Finally, gotta pull for fellow Pittsburgher
    Amber Brkich (or as I now think of her, "the wicked haht smokin' Ambaaa") tonight. Most importantly, though, is Jenna L. not winning, because she's annoying and useless and I'm not sure why she was on there in the first place. They could have called this season "Survivor 17 All-Stars And For Some Reason Jenna." Unfortunately, I'd imagine anyone would want to face off with her in the final 2 for exactly those reasons, and who knows what could happen from there.

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