Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Topic #1: Mountains

     I've thought short and hard on a way to describe our trip, contemplating how to explain why we are in love with Los Angeles against the grain of most people I talk to, while avoiding mundane and boring entries at the same time. I've decided instead of writing about each day, to break it up into topics. If you didn't know, I could write an entire book about these subjects, but I'll keep them as short as my enthusiasm will allow. Obviously, I have many reasons, but we were only in the area for 4 days, so I documented 3 topics: Mountains, Beach, Food.
Patrick walking off his burn from the run
     Everyone knows I'm in love with the outdoors, especially the mountains. When I look around and embrace their glory, my heart smiles and it shows on my face. I have a difficult time verbalizing the overwhelming awareness of being surrounded by the vast beauty of God's creations, realizing how tiny myself and my problems really are, but feeling strong and empowered by the challenge that nature has to offer, while the warm sun radiates to my bones and the cool breeze refreshes my skin. I'm alive and so is everything around me.

Hydrated and ready to rumble!

If you look close, you can see a tiny person on top of Eagle Rock, we had just left and already such a difference!
     Topanga Canyon State Park is one of my favorite places on earth thus far. With miles of trails to conquer by foot or bike, your legs have the opportunity to embark a challenge, while your mind has the opportunity to relax. At a couple of high points on the trails are benches with the quote "Rest for the Soul" engraved in them, and the point holds without exaggeration when I take a seat and look at my surroundings.
Patrick filling his body and soul with "rest"
I didn't want to leave, but the ocean was calling my name
     Similar minded people flock to this piece of heaven also, and not once did we pass a person who didn't say hello with a smile on their face, offer to snap a picture, strike up small talk, or extend a helping hand to a fellow biker with their equipment complications. It's easy to lose your peace on the 101 freeway, as Patrick could attest, but once you're here, none of those things matter anymore. It's a short drive out of the hustle and bustle the city has to offer, and as you drive from the Valley through the mountains you may think you're in Jurassic Park, but not to worry, there's no dinosaurs . . . . .only mountain lions.  . . . . . but predominantly squirrels and deer.
On top of Eagle Rock
At the edge of Pacific Palisades
     We only had 2 days to spend in Topanga, so the first day we took the 4.6mi hike to Pacific Palisades, which is completely worth the hard work at the destination point when you walk out to the edge of the mountain and look out over the ocean. I could camp there forever. The second day, we hiked the 1.8mi total incline to Eagle Rock. It's was a tough mental challenge, especially when I made the goal of reaching the top in 30minutes. I'm still proud to say I busted some major booty and made it in 31 min and 24 sec, with Patrick shortly behind me. That was definitely my anaerobic workout for the week with my HR clocking in at 173-178 for almost the entire hike! Never give up! After sitting down for a breather and taking in the view of the San Fernando Valley one direction and the Pacific Ocean in the opposing direction, we headed back down to soak our feet in the cool water, with details awaiting in my next entry.

Get ready beach, here I come!!!!


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