I’m in LA for a week. I’m going to try to write something about my trip every day. I hope you enjoy it.
The first thing I did on my fifth day in LA was watch the latest episode of Game of Thrones, because I am not an animal.
My Craigslist call for a tour buddy yielded no real results. The person living near the airport basically just wanted a free meal, and the student and sex-box never responded again. Instead, I decided to head back to the Pacific Ocean, so I could see it during the day. True, I saw it while driving along Pacific Coast Highway, but this time I would be able to devote my full attention to it.
Before that, though, I needed to refuel my rental car. The gas station I went to strangely had pumps that lacked the locking mechanism that lets you fill up your tank without holding the handle. It also only took cash and debit. The station was easily twenty cents cheaper than anywhere else, though, so I dealt with the odd nature of the place and went on my way. Gas in LA is way more expensive than gas in Chicago, by the way. By more then fifty cents per gallon.
The Pacific Ocean is amazing. Seeing it in daylight only made its scale more astonishing. Gazing across its expanse was mind-opening. After more than thirty years living deep in the center of the country, I was standing on the end of it. I’d travelled just over two thousand miles from my home and stood at a point where there was no more land I could cross. It was like I’d reached the end of the world.
I sat on some rocks near the shore and watched the beach. I marveled at surfers who rode waves that could swallow a person in an instant. I saw a crow fighting the wind and finally landing on the beach to pick out carrion from the sand. I saw families relaxing in the sun and people walking their dogs. People for whom the ocean may have become an everyday thing, no more surprising than a McDonald’s. Or, perhaps they woke every day and felt overcome by the grandeur. I could not say.
After watching the tides for several minutes, I took off my shoes and strode to the shore. Small waves lapped at my feet before a large one burst forth and was immediately upon me. It tugged at my legs, climbed quickly up to my knees and threatened to knock me down entirely. The pull of the ocean is hypnotic and deceptive, but also beautiful. At first, the ocean water felt cold and uncomfortable, but after a few waves I found it inviting. Refreshing. I felt alive for the first time in months, if not longer. I was excited. Inspired. I felt like I was a part of something.