One must be flexible enough to roll with the changes life can throw at you, staying ridged only leads to the curve ball smacking you in the face.
I had researched exploring the Murphy Ranch trail area, yet when I found the trail head I also saw no trespassing notices, signs cautioning of unmaintained trail sections, tick, rattlesnake and mountain lion warnings, and the faint sound of a bulldozer.
I knew that the city of LA was planning a demolition of the former Nazi sympathizer compound, one of my initial reasons to see it. Yet the good and safe feeling wasn’t with me, so as I entered the Will Rogers Historic Park I decided to go hike the Backbone trail instead.
The Santa Monica mountains above the Palisades were sublime in January, mid morning sweat starts to drip from my brow. Ocean mist comes in gentle waves over the mountain tops, creating a haunting and mysterious aura throughout the land.
In true California fashion, friendly people from all walks of life greet you along the way….fellow hikers, joggers, bikers, campers.
I even come across a little Buddha shrine a couple of miles in.
Before I realize it, 6.5 miles have been trekked. With no map or GPS, I’m unsure whether this trail can connect or loop back to my original starting point. I stop to have some lunch and make the decision to head back whence I came.
Along the way, I see the bulldozer’s demolition of the Murphy Ranch compound. Brightly colored graffiti painted on cement bricks is piled on the ground. I feel nothing more than a slight twinge at the lost history, and carry on.
I exit the backbone trail into the horse corrals and stables of Will Rogers. A family of grazing deer are at the far end of the corral, horses are feeding next to modern day cowboys and tourists waiting for their turn to take a ride.
The stables are filled with old farm equipment and early 20th century cars. I gaze upon my reflection in the windshield and feel the start of the Hollywood era, the glamour and spectacle of that glorious time.
Starving, I leave the park and drive along Highway One through Malibu, searching for a seaside restaurant. I find Malibu Farms, a local and organic paradise at the end of a pier.
I climb the stairs to the upper deck, sip my green cocktail, and voraciously take a mean bite of my sun kissed burger.
It rejuvenates my soul in the most satisfactory way as the suns sets on the City of Angels.
Sometimes a day in LA is all one needs to cure those winter time blues.