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Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Hiking in L.A. = Pain in the Ass

So this weekend, I decided I desperately needed to return to my Oregon roots and go hiking. Last weekend I'd stumbled over Malibu Creek State Park online. I have to say it was a bitch even to find the address much less any other information on it but the pictures were beautiful so I decided to take the plunge.

Early Saturday morning I piled my dog, boyfriend, and cousin into the car and started the 40 minute car trek up into the hills. Driving on PCH from the I-10 freeway to Pepperdine University is absolutely stunning and so relaxing. You pass couples strolling on the beach, surf beaches packed with people, and an assortment of some of the oddest looking cars from beach bum vans to Mercedes with surfboards sticking out the back.

Once we reached Malibu Creek State Park (MCSP), we learned, to our dismay, that it's $12 to park. Normally, I would pay because it goes to the upkeep of the park but today I was feeling cheap and they stupidly provide a parking lot about ten minutes down the street for free. So we parked in the parking lot and walked over to MCSP.

We are literally about to set foot on the trail when a ranger walks by and tells us, "No dogs." I was stunned! "What do you mean no dogs????!?!?!??!! It's a fucking HIKING TRAIL. The Oregonian in me was so pissed. I'd come all this way and now I had to turn around because I'm not one of those evil people who leave their dogs in the back of their cars in 90 degree weather.

The ranger suggested we go to Paramount Ranch about 4 miles down Mulholland so we reluctantly walked back to the car and drove to the Ranch. This was the weirdest place I have ever been. When you first walk into to the park you are confronted by a Wild Wild West town. Yeah, it's like a spooky version of DisneyLand. It's in the middle of nowhere, completely deserted, and overgrown with weeds. I was ready for Jason to come out with his chainsaw and hack me to pieces.

However, at this point I was so indignant and my boyfriend and cousin were whining so much that I resolved that I would find a trail and we would hike it. So I set off on any of the overgrown paths that looked like they could be trails and finally we stumbled onto a real one. It was kind of scary. The path was overgrown with trees and shrubs on either side like the set from the Blair Witch. And there was definitely some type of large animal lurking in there because we heard it following us along the trail. It also since help that Sissy #1 and Sissy #2 kept jumping at the littlest sound.

The trail ended about a mile later. What a worthless hike.

The boys tried to cheer me up by taking me out to lunch. We stopped at a small cafe called Coogies along PCH. We had fajitas, hamburger, and the most amazing, cheesy spinach cheese dip. We also were entertained by the locals.

By locals I mean older, rich, white people who spend their later lives lounging in the "Bu," as they call it (yes obviously I am stereotyping). One such couple of sitting at the table next to us with a younger couple about my parents age. They had an eight-year son.

The older couple was clearly telling the younger couple all about their new home, the "Bu." I will refer to the older couple as The Blings. The younger man was a doctor who had recently relocated his family (yes I have excellent hearing for eavesdropping). We will call them The Doctors. Part way through their lunch another older couple walked by with their Labradoodle (The Gents). So I've set the stage for the soap opera about to begin.

Mrs. Bling looks up from her conversation at the table and cackles at Mrs. Gents. The two must belong to a country club together. The Blings then introduce The Doctors to the The Gents as "their new neighbors." You can tell The Gents don't really give a shit but this is Malibu so they will falsely excited about the prospect. As the three couples smoozed no one was paying attention to the little eight-year-old.

That was until he walked up to The Gents' Labradoodle and proceeded to mount the dog as if it was a horse. We are talking walked up and tried to straddle the animal. The look of horror on Mrs. Gents' face was AMAZING. We didn't even attempt to hide it and started cracking up immediately. The Doctors grabbed their son who kept screaming "I want to ride the horse" as Mr. Gent clutched his poor dog. Fucking hilarious.

This definitely made up for the shitty hike and provided us with tons of entertainment on the way back to West L.A.

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