My friend emailed me to ask me if I wanted to go walking in one of the canyons here this morning. No matter that my last walk with her included tripping three times and falling face first on the sidewalk . I'm an optimist. I'll keep trying. Her next email included instructions for me. "Wear sweat pants or comfortable pants. Don't wear jeans. Bring water and kleenex in case you have to pee in the bushes. It IS rattlesnake season." OK, now I'm a little worried. I KNOW to wear sweats, not jeans--I have exercised before, believe it or not. And bring kleenex for WHAT?????!! How long are we going to be walking for? And rattlesnakes? This is sounding less and less like a fun hike with a girlfriend and more and more like some bizarre urban game of Survivor. But I followed instructions. Except for the kleenex.
It all kind of reminded of me of a time about 20 or so years ago when a friend of mine was in town and we wanted to go out for fondue (calm down--it was the 80's!!) on a Saturday night. I called my brother and invited him and his wife to join us. "Don't wear jeans", I told him, "dress a little nicer." A few minutes later I called him back. "They don't take reservations and there will probably be a long wait so you might want to eat a little something before you go." "Let me get this straight," he said. "We're going out to dinner, I can't wear jeans, I have to cook my own food, and I have to eat before I go." "Pretty much", I said. But --back to the hike.
So we headed out toward the canyon, me with my long, rattlesnake repelling sweats and a t-shirt, and she with her scarf tied over her layers of shirts. We both carried water bottles. I didn't ask if she had kleenex hidden somewhere. I sort of didn't want to know.
The hike up the canyon was one of those experiences where you think you are going to die during it and once you get to the top you are glad you survived. The whole hike took about 45 minutes and included beautiful views of L.A. On a clear day, my friend told me, you can see the ocean and Catalina Island. As usual, though, it wasn't clear. We saw mansions perched on hills, the Hollywood sign, and many other walkers, most with dogs. I survived the hike and felt great after a shower at home. I can't wait to do it again. I embarrassed my friend a little by saying a friendly "good morning" to many fellow hikers. "It's L.A.," she said, "they'll think you want something from them." I can't think of anything anyone would think I needed from them in the canyon. Except possibly some kleenex.
2 days ago