LA Cali back to Austin TX

Posted: September 21, 2010 in Helping Hands Events, Table Of Contents, TRAVEL / Gatherings
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2/13
Once we were back safely from Hawaii I got caught up on my email and began focusing on writing. I went for a bike ride up the coast to Marina Del Ray and stopped to write at some nice spots. I was only going to the Manhattan area but I was curious if the path went around the airport on the beach so I kept going. I discovered that the path does go all the way and that there are camping spots for RVs but not tents. At the El Segundo area there are fire pits on the beach and people were partying everywhere.


2/14
The next day was Valentines day so I wandered around with no real purpose or direction. Playing soccer always makes me happy when I’m lonely so I hung around the field and park all day writing. It was good to be in the presence of others and I was happy when a pickup game came together so the day went by rather quickly. The lonelyness set in though and I began preparing to return to the midwest.

I couldn’t seem to find any other friends or family in the area that wanted me to visit so once I got the 2010 portion of this book current, I called my uncle to schedule my pick up.

My uncle would be ready to pick me up in two Tuesdays. With my days in So Cal limited I choose my final adventures carefully. I rode the subway to Hollywood to ride the trails to the Griffith Observatory and to hike to the HW sign. The observatory was filmed a year before in a few scenes for Jim Carrie’s Yes Man movie.

When riding the rail you have a chance to really see central LA up close. Most of it is dirty and over crowded. I don’t understand why anyone would stay there. Most  of the parks were a muddy mess with very little green.

From the Hollywood rail exit, the main entrance to Griffith park was only 5 blocks away. There are many different trails up the hills. Several have picnic spots and other nice resources. I was able to ride most of the trails. There were very few spots that were too steep or the dirt was too soft.

The observatory was a wonderful place to spend family time. It was full of 2 levels of museum features on astronomy and had planetarium shows through the day. My favorite exhibit was the Nicolas Tesla coil that was donated by ( ).

Tesla created a way to transfer electricity wirelessly from a generator coil to a receiving station up to 30+ miles away. (tesla link here) The government knew that they would not be able to regulate and tax electricity utilities so they had Tesla killed, burned his lab, destroyed all unpatented work and had utility companies like GE declare that his inventions were not feasible or safe.

From the observatory I followed a non motorized road over the ridge. About 2 miles up the road I saw a bunch of commotion. As I rode nearer I realized it was another film crew. They had their camper and set trucks and props setup. The director was real friendly and chatted with me while waiting for his crew to get ready. They were shooting a vitamin water commercial using a goat climbing the cliffs in comparison to a rock climber.

About half a mile from the film crew, I biked past a bunch of horse riders and discovered there was a ranch leveled off in the cliffs. They had a great business established providing horse rides through the trails.

At the crest of the road I had to switch to a service road that ended at a water tank. I asked a guy if there was a trail from here over the ridge to another road so I wouldn’t have to back track. Luckily there was a trail but it was extremely dangerous and required carrying the bike up rocky ledges.

The hiking trail also had a few spots where I had to slide down on my butt because it was so steep. It was a adrenalin rush getting the bike around the obstacles.

Once I made it to sign road I pedaled the rest of the way to the top where the Hollywood sign was. There was one lady jogging to the top and everyone else I saw was hiking casually while enjoying the view. While stretching I struck up a fun conversation with an architect named Tad. He enjoyed my stories enough that he asked for our website and provided his email. By this time the sun was setting so I headed back to the train depot.

Along my travels I concluded that the typical dollar store market was dominated by a chain called 99cents only stores. I had been around all of L.A. over several weeks without seeing any competitors.

Another fact to keep in mind is that nearly everyone has a role in society. A lot of the people asking for help on streets and the subway cleanup after the wasteful habits of the more fortunate. Those in the lower class appreciate every little thing with value. They pick up anything that can be recycled out of our alleys and ditches and see that they are delivered to proper collection facilities. One ride through downtown L.A. on the metro and you will see numerous reminders of this like people pushing carts of plastic and trucks full of foam etc.

Another day I went and watched our neighbor’s womens soccer game. It’s always pleasing to see groups of people playing soccer plus it gave me a reason to explore a new park. Amy played perfect at fullback and most of her team had college experience so the played well together. They beat a well skilled team 3-0. On this days bike ride I unfortunately had my necklace come loose and was unable to find it. Fate is strange sometimes. I rotate sentimental trinkets on my neck chains and on this day I had two of my most treasured ones. I ended up losing my dads star and my aunt Bev’s shark toothe. My parents got matching stars on their Honeymoon in Mexico and I took the loss as a reminder that physical possessions are not to be treasured above emotions. When I turned back around to find the necklace it had vanished and the only logic I could reason was that it fell into a storm drain because I was near the corner when I remembered feeling it hit my foot.

On my last full day I took the train to the most northern point which was North Hollywood. From there I boarded the orange bus line to the most western station at Werner Square. I was hoping it would follow the hills but the route stayed in the valley and there was not very much to see beyond cars, houses, stores and the occasional attractive college student. The majority of riders were of mexican descent and very few are interested in talking to strangers. Most wear headphones so they avoid being approached.  I enjoy the experience even if the scenery is nothing special because it is a good opportunity for me to write new thoughts while distributing information about our cause.

The orange route has a dedicated road through the valley and a bike trail runs along it as well. At one point police cars passed us to avoid traffic for an emergency. From Werner square I biked about 2 miles further west until I reached a point near the crest of the hills. If I would of had 2 more hours I would of went south from the orange line to a state park area before returning. I wish every medium size city had a public rail. It would get people to drive less and it would help influence them to socialize more.

When I returned there was a message on Facebook waiting for me announcing that I was awarded a NOLAlicous.com $750 sponsorship for Austin’s South By Southwest Music, Interactive and Film festival. I started researching details about the festival and learned that it was 10 days, thousands of business’, film stars/producers, 2,000+ bands on over 80+ stages and nearly 1 million unique people all in a 15 square block area.

My final day, we went to return the sleeper couch I was using and then drove to the south central area where my Uncle dropped me off back in January. It worked out that he was dropping off a load at the same place again so it was easy to find our meeting spot. I got lucky because Uncle Ken does not have deliveries in the same spot too often.

We timed it perfect. After Sung and I said our good byes, Ken came around the corner. We loaded up and strapped everything down and were on the highway in 2 hours. About 30 minutes of that was wasted waiting for a rude plumber who parked his truck in the loading bay while doing load prep. I saw a very patient and honorable side of my Uncle as we joked about the plumbers incompetence.

The ride back to Texas was not real eventful outside of our story telling and a stop at the Palm Springs Casino. My stories about Hawaii and California took up most of our chat time over the next 3 days ride.

Once I arrived back in Texas I had to clean out the van and repack for the South by Southwest festival in Austin.

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