|The Mother Road, Route 66: Day 10 (Map)||
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Pasadena, CA to Camarillo, CA (via Inglewood,CA & Anaheim,CA) - 261 km (162 mi)
Our Pasadena friends had to go to work early in the morning, which meant early exploring for us.
U.J. wanted to spend this morning admiring the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and therefore we were at the Hollywood Jack-In-The-Box before we knew it.
I was amused because we walked 7 city blocks & I was impressed with about 7 stars (while U.J. kept freaking out to all of these pointless 1950s people like Lucille Ball).
By the way, Rush wasn't one of those 7 stars that I was excited to see. I only took this picture for my American friends who think that because I'm a Canuck, that I must love Rush.
I don't mind Rush, but I hate the Beach Boys. The only good song they have is that Sloop John B song.
The walk of fame was mostly a bunch of folks I could care less about.
The theatre where all of the real stars put their hands (and sometimes feet/gun) into the cement is right along the walk of stars.
I have to admit it was neat to compare my feet with Denzel's & John Wayne's. I had to roll my eyes at the Harry Potter dorks losing their shit over the stars' cement markings though.
Continuing our touristy LA day, we had to go to a beach while in California. It was between Redondo Beach (because of the Morrissey song), Venice Beach and Huntington Beach. We scratched Huntington Beach off the list, mostly because I thought it was only famous from Day Smith flatlanding there.
We decided on Venice Beach & drove down Crenshaw Boulevard to get there. Along the way we stopped at another Jack-In-The-Box, this time laughing at the stoned couple who were giggling and freaking out at the munchies options on the fast food self-help kiosk.
Having a car in Venice Beach was pointless, as pedestrians were constantly trying to cross the road & most of the streets were moving at tortoise paces. With the sun shining and the temperatures comfortable, Californians were out in droves & we had to park 10 minutes from the city centre.
The walk towards the main Venice Beach area was alright though. I amused myself by giggling through a rendition of Katy Perry's California Girls as a Californian girl in daisy dukes with a bikini on top walked 1mph faster than us and passed us very slowly (much to U.J.'s chagrin).
She got her revenge as I was laughing at this Snowy Egret running out to sea and back to land to avoid the waves - and as I pointed at the bird & laughed, the tide washed over my leg and soaked the majority of my pants and shoes (much to U.J.'s delight).
Venice Beach features that famous place where dudes workout, a skateboard-only skatepark, small boardwalk shops & this legal graffiti pavilion. Signs informed us that we were not allowed to paint unless we registered and filled out some graffiti waiver.
As for the skatepark, it was crazy in terms of having a guardrail around the whole place & 200 people standing around watching the skateboard trickery - it was a scene out of Lords of Dogtown. I wasn't sure what to think, as I pondered ALWAYS having 200 people watch me bike if my local park had the same setup.
At the graffiti walls, there was a collection of Latino dudes painting and they were all wearing white t-shirts & knock off Ray Bans. When they finished, they climbed atop the walls and posed it up in b-boy, hip hop stances. This amused U.J. and she asked when I was going to 'hang out with my boys', where I then realized that I was also wearing a white t-shirt and knock off Ray Bans.
We didn't eat in Venice Beach because the skatepark didn't allow bikes; so we were quickly back to our tourist destinations...
Away from tourist targets, it was funny to go to places simply because you know them from songs.
I have to admit though, Inglewood didn't really seem up to no good; it seemed like an average middle class place actually.
Maybe things have changed since California Love came out back in 1995...
I was happy enough seeing the Great Western Forum0 & Inglewood Plaza in Inglewood, but why not get some donuts at Randy's Donuts while we're in the area?
I remembered seeing this place in Iron Man 2, so I thought it would make a good stop.
In addition to a delicious donut and coffee, Randy's Donuts also paid off as I walked across the street to use the Shell Washroom. A white Suburban stopped and 5 attractive, bikini-clad girls hopped out and ran across the Shell Parking lot as fast as they could in their stripper boots.
I had no idea what was going on, but it's the type of thing that puts a smile on a man's face. I would imagine this happens more often in California than cold Canadian lands...
Unfortunately I was having trouble pinpointing the good LA river locations & wrongfully assumed that any random point would be a good LA River scene - and as you can see above, I was wrong.
The next thing I wanted to see was the impressive Los Angeles Harbor (Angel's Gate) Lighthouse.
The lighthouse is connected to the mainland by a long breakwater, but I underestimated how far it actually was, until U.J. parked the car and I could finally see it far off in the distance.
Technically you're not supposed to walk on the breakwater because of tsunamis, but I questioned how much this was enforced.
I had read online that one lighthouse person got out there and back in 90 minutes. 90 minutes was a problem because we were trying to make it to Anaheim tonight to see the Angels and only had 60 minutes until the first pitch. I reasoned that the other guy probably wasn't moving very quick & that I could turn around when I grew tired (being happy with simply getting a closer picture).
In regards to the trespassing, a crowd of Mexicans were past the warning signs and nothing seemed to be happening. I was a bit worried about U.J. making it out to the lighthouse, but she told me to go & that she would wait behind. At this point, she might as well had one of those race guns to fire in the air, as I broke off sprinting towards the breakwater.
The breakwater seemed to have two styles: organized flat rocks & jumbled rock messes. The portions that were flat & even, were easy to quickly move across; the jumbled rock messes on the other hand, were a bit more time consuming as I had to leap from rock to rock, landing on angles, jumping far distances & even having to stop to think where to hop next.
I passed a lot of Mexicans at first, but there didn't seem to be many after I was running for about 10 minutes. Out here I was left to the intimidating pelicans & bright oystercatchers, who seemed confused & angered by my presence, before flying off to avoid confrontation.
Oystercatchers are one of my favourite birds and I regretted having to rush & not being able to take a picture.
The oystercatchers & pelicans were memorable, as was the moment where I was leaping from rock to rock trying to keep moving forward at a brisk pace: after the next leap into the air, I spotted the landing and realized there was a dead seal there! I had to do a Micheal Jordan-esque move as I floated mid air and kicked my feet forward to avoid driving my feet through the rotting carcass.
It was all too close for comfort.
The lighthouse grew in my eyes as I exhaustedly approached the end of the breakwater. To finally reach the end and stand on the foundation of the old keepers' quarters, over a kilometre out into the harbor of the Western Hemisphere's busiest shipping port, was something special and something that made me feel very, very small & vulnerable.
The Los Angeles Harbor Lighthouse was built in 1913 with an octagonal concrete base and rounded, steel-reinforced concrete making up the main body. I read several sources which stated that this was the only lighthouse ever built in this fashion.
The lighthouse has a colourful history involving developing a list after the Long Beach earthquake, being hit by a battleship and also having a pet seal - but I don't want to copy my friend's hard work, so go over to his website if you want to read about all of that.
I spent 2 minutes at the lighthouse after running for 15 minutes to get out there.
Knowing that I wasn't allowed out here (and probably especially not while running), I hadn't looked back yet & was astonished at how far away the pier looked from the lighthouse.
This is where I was feeling small & vulnerable out here, on this breakwater 3 feet above the Pacific.
The run back was uneventful as most of the birds had not returned yet (well away from the Gulls). It was amusing to run by the same Mexicans and joke with them about being in a rush & how I should take my time.
When I reached U.J. 35 minutes after leaving her, she had an equally memorable time as apparently two Latinos were having sex beneath the pier. For some reason I asked about 10 position & clothing questions in the next 30 seconds...until she asked me why I was so interested and I had no answer.
She had her legs wrapped around him as he pushed her up against a wall (if you're wondering).
We sped out of that pier area and joined the freeway towards Angel Stadium.
Light traffic helped us out & we weren't very late. As we approached the stadium both of us rushed to look for ticket booths, but a man stopped us and asked if we were looking for tickets...because he had tickets 4 rows up from the field and along the third base line (amazing tickets).
I told the gentleman that I wasn't looking to spend that type of money, but he stated that he simply wanted something, anything; as he was missing the game and couldn't find anyone to buy his tickets. Since I'm not much of a haggler, I continued to reinforce that he wouldn't want our meager offer, but when he finally got it out of me that I wanted to pay $15, that was all he needed to hear...
...and we had stupid good seats for a ridiculous $15. The best seats I've ever had at a professional sporting event by a long shot.
The funniest thing was that the seats were good & the weather was awesome - but the whole experience was ruined by these 3 hipster doofuses behind us, who made terrible joke after terrible joke after terrible joke,
For three very long hours this was consistent (away from a 10 minute break where they all went to the washroom together like a group of insecure girls).
The $12 12oz. Fat Tires weren't helping the situation either.
I needed a break from those hipster dweebs, so I went for a walk around the ballpark in the 6th inning. I didn't care for its location in the suburbs, but overall is was nice & clean: I would never have guessed that it was built in 1966 (extensive renovations in the 90s are the reason why it looks so clean & modern). The stadium wasn't modern to the point of 'chic' or 'angry Navi', but it was clean, tasteful and pleasant.
I imagine that if I ever get to all 30 ballparks in the MLB, that Angel Stadium will rank somewhere in the low teens.
The game was a snoozefest, but that was partly our faults though as Hideki Matsui hit a grand slam in the bottom of the 1st, which we missed because we got there at the top of the 2nd. Other than that, Colorado got two small-ball runs after that & my boy Melvin Mora got a double. I guess that's kind of exciting?
Anaheim won 4-2 over the Colorado Rockies.
Leaving the game, we decided to get north of Los Angeles as we wanted no part of the 'morning commute' in this city of 8-lane freeways. We drove to some forgettable place and found either no vacancy or rooms far too expensive (even for fleabag motels). We drove outside of town, kicking ourselves for getting here at night and screwing ourselves out of stealth camping.
Thankfully, we eventually smartened up & went into downtown Oxnard, away from the cookie-cut freeway hotels of Camarillo. We found the City Center Motel, which may not be a place to honeymoon, but it provided a clean bed for a reasonable price.
Windsor,ON to Mooseheart,IL via. Michigan City,IN
St.Clair,MO to Bentonville,AR via. Cuba,MO & Mt.Magazine,AR
Conway,TX to Albuquerque,NM
via. Armadillo,TX & Tucumcari,NM
Albuquerque,NM to Williams,AZ
via. Flagstaff,AZ & Winslow,AZ
Williams,AZ to Rialto,CA
via. Oatman,AZ & Needles,CA
Rialto,CA to Pasadena,CA
via. Salton Sea,CA & Mexicali,Mexico
via. Big Sur,CA & Monterey,CA
San Jose,CA to San Francisco,CA
via. Lick Observatory,CA
San Francisco,CA to Hickison Petroglyphs, NV
via. Sacramento,CA & Carson City,NV
Hickison Petroglyphs,NV to Casper,WY
Casper,WY to Winner,SD
via. Keystone,SD & Oral,SD
1 - Coast Guard Lighthouses - Historic Light Station Information & Photography California
2 - Wikipedia - Angel Stadium of Anaheim
3 - MLB.com, Boxscore: Colorado vs. LA Angels
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