I made it coast to coast again! New York to California. That’s #9 if we count both directions, or half way through #5 of the round trip. I regret not taking a few more pictures while hanging with friends here. I did however take a photo of my friend Matt and his dog Ricky.
Ricky is a BIG puppy. 75 pounds of monstrous enthusiasm! He’ll grow out of it. At least I am sure Matt hopes so. I am proud of Matt. He is one of my college buddies. Matt packed it up moved to LA and became and actor. It sounds cliche, but he really did it and is doing it successfully. Many try, few succeed. He is also a great writer. He keeps a blog of his experiences in Los Angeles packing a sometimes humorous and often harsh NY wit. In fact he recently posted about me and my adventures. Fortunately for me he had only kind words.
Have a look:
Unlike me, Matt writes daily and it’s always a good read. I highly recommend it. Especially that post above. Also on his blog you can see Ricky grow up. When he was just a small little pup, Matt bought Ricky a Michael Vick chew toy. As you continue to read his blog you will see that Ricky tore Michael Vick to shreds! On the occasion of my visit, Ricky was happy to substitute Mr. Vick with yours truly.
When I first arrived in LA I made good use of Facebook. Many folks have differing opinions about Facebook, but I think one thing that is undeniably cool is how it gives you the ability to contact people from your past who you would otherwise never be in touch with again. So through Facebook I knew one of my first NY friends from the 4th grade also lived in LA, so I gave him a shout! I went out and met my old friend Dan Freyer from Ms.Solomondo’s class at PS 41. This is the lost opportunity where I should have taken a photo. I didn’t, but it was great catching up and talking about old times. Memories darted back about school and other friends and how we used to draw American Indians and make things related to their culture. Good times. Great to see Dan again.
I also didn’t take a picture when I went to meet my friends Tim and Diana for dinner. And I must admit, Diana takes a mighty fine photo. No photos, but again it was great hanging out.
It’s always kind of tough hanging with friends on these kind of trips I take. I mean it’s great to see people, but it really throws my road head off. It’s easy to get comfortable which makes getting back on the road difficult. I was talking to this guy Harry who I met. He has been riding around the world on a diesel powered Royal Enfield. I grabbed this shot of his bike “Batty” from his site: http://www.vegibike.com/
He has been staying with friends in San Francisco and is feeling the same way as I was. Too comfortable. Strange to have to force yourself to a level of discomfort, but that’s how this type of travel works. This guy has already been through 4 engines and he keeps going. Remarkable!
So back to the journey.
Hitler’s LA Pad
What? Really? Yes really! And yes, that Hitler!
Known as Murphy’s Ranch, this 55 acre piece of land high in the Santa Monica mountains was to be the future pad of Adolph Hitler once he took over the world! Nazi sympathizers had purchased the land and began building a self sufficient compound from which Hitler could rule the United States. Obviously these plans never came to fruition, but there remains some of the ruins from those days. So, after riding through a labyrinth of roads in the Santa Monica hills, I reached the dirt road which led me to the gates of Hiltler’s would be home.
I passed through the gates and came across the 400,000 gallon water tank that would supply the compound.
Then I continued my decent into the canyon along the decaying driveway.
As I continued to wander along in a strange state of disbelief at the possibility of such a place existing, I almost stepped on this stick.
But as you can see my friends, that is no stick. It was my very first encounter with a rattlesnake! I have been to many desert climates hoping, yearning to see a rattlesnake. Places with warning signs all around, “Beware of Rattlesnakes”! But nothing. Then here, in Los Angeles, on Hitler’s driveway no less is this beautiful and deadly creature. He made no sound. No warning of his presence. If I hadn’t realized this was no stick before taking that extra step, I would have been in seriously sad shape because there was no one else around. Of course I wasn’t satisfied with this snake lying there in stick position. That’s not how a rattlesnake is supposed to look. And what about that rattle big guy. I want to hear it! Let’s have some fun!
That’s better! The classic pose.
After having my fun playing with the snake I continued down the driveway looking for the stairs that descend to the old generator station.
The solid cement housing for the generator has since been colorfully decorated by the locals.
It truly is bizarre that such a place exists. There were plans to build a huge mansion here as well, but government authorities were monitoring the activities here at Murphy”s Ranch and the day after the attacks on Pearl Harbor the nazi sympathizers were rounded up and arrested.
On my way out, a pick up truck pulled up to me and a lady told me I was trespassing. Apparently you can walk here but usually the 3 1/2 mile dirt road is gated. I was lucky the gate wasn’t working this day. Ha Ha! See ya later Los Angeles!