In the Winds of Change We Always Find Our Direction
Every Journey Begins With a Single Step
I am so glad that we took our first step without forgetting our passports! The last time we stood in line to check-in for our flight to Los Angeles (almost 2 years before), when the attendant asked my mother for the passports… you guessed it… they were 60 km away from my mother’s handbag, sitting patiently on the table, at home. No, this first step wasn’t about to be taken in a frantic rush. Unlike all the other journeys we had taken, which had a beginning, a middle and an end, this one had no such limitations. This was the first step in an ongoing journey of exploration… to seek out new experiences, to make living connections, to learn what the world has to give, and to go where we have never gone before. This was the beginning of my Dreamtime Journey.
We landed in Los Angeles, California and it was heartwarming to be greeted with love by our family friend Pat, a friend so close, that we considered her more family than friend. Pat was so kind to us in our first weeks in America. She allowed us to stay with her in her apartment, which allowed us all the time necessary to get ourselves set up and organise our plans together, deciding what to do for the longer part of our journey in the U.S.
It was really wonderful, during this time, as we enjoyed the beautiful sunny weather, as we were now in the Northern Hemisphere and it was Summer! L.A. is truly not what you imagine and living there for about six weeks gave us a perspective that not many of your average tourist visitors get. I don’t know how to put it, but there is an energy in L.A. that after a while has you going a little crazy. It is really the noise and I don’t mean literally the hundreds of thousands of cars powering up the 110 Freeway every day. It is more the electromagnetic noise that is constantly buzzing in that city where you either get a dose that fries your brain, or you somehow manage to live with it. We noticed this most with people’s behaviours and the way they all seem to be watching the same T.V. shows and talking about the same things as if they were programmed collectively. I do not want to be too harsh, as there are many beautiful places in and around L.A. that I enjoyed greatly.
Living close to the coast, near Marina del Rey, we spent many days hiking in the surrounding hills and mountains, such as Temescal Canyon, Topanga Canyon State Park and Will Rogers State Park. They are really beautiful in their bio- diversity, but really dusty and dry during the summer months.
One of my favourite things was to go dog sitting with Pat almost every day, as Lalika and I developed a close bond with some of the dogs she took care of. My favourite dog was a little dog called Patches who was an 18-year-old Pug, who had a pacemaker and a chesty cough to rival a tertiary emphysema sufferer, but he was so funny when he would attack his little stuffed squeaky hedgehog toy.
We also had plenty of opportunities to stroll along the beach, and we spent a couple of days in Venice and went to the Santa Monica Pier. This is the height of tourist traps and the place to go if you want to show yourself off. It seems many people in L.A. are extremely body conscious. I am told, that where we were, was the original “Muscle Beach”, just south of the Santa Monica pier and there was a set of monkey bars, climbing ropes and roman rings there. It seemed that the only goal of people climbing these was, to parade themselves while they tried their hardest to look impressive climbing a rope without using their legs, or swinging around like Olympic gymnasts on the rings until they had a small crowd admiring them. I enjoyed this spot though because there were great swings there and you could really swing up very high.
We also got the opportunity to spend a day up in the mountains at Lake Arrowhead, thanks to our generous friend Stephen. He drove us up all the way from L.A. where we went on a beautiful hike through the forests and hoped to catch sight of a bear! Unfortunately the bears must have been sunning themselves elsewhere as we couldn’t find any black and brown bears strolling through the forest, but we did get to see the most stunning hummingbirds fly up to a sugar drinking fountain, at a height of about 2500 meters, that was at the top of a mountain bushfire lookout post!
What was the most surprising about Lake Arrowhead was that there was not one place where you could enjoy the lake. Can you believe that every last part of this lake’s foreshore is privately owned by the owners of the extravagant lake houses that are on its foreshores? Quite literally, there was no place that we could go for a swim, because we would be trespassing and in the U.S. apparently they are allowed to shoot you for this. We did manage to have a lovely picnic though, as we drove to a resort hotel and simply put out our lunch on the picnic tables, where we were able to also play a game of volleyball and soccer.
While we were in L.A. Lalika and also I celebrated our eleventh year on Earth and for the first time outside of Australia and in Summer! We continued learning our lessons and enjoying the beautiful weather, but after the six weeks of life in LA we decided it was time to move on!
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Do you remember where that Lake Arrowhead bushfire lookout post was??!
I must apologise for the tardy response. I believe the lookout you enquired about was the Keller Peak Fire Lookout. https://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/sbnf/recarea/?recid=26401. The drive up to the lookout is quite beautiful, but also very narrow with steep ravines off the edge. It was absolutely stunning though, with the spectacular Hummingbirds flying up to the feeders to drink the sugary nectar.