Leo Carrillo State Park
So this is the first travel post, even though it was a 45 minute drive.
Which in Los Angeles is like 5 miles.
However, when you're skirting up the PCH (Pacific Coast Highway for those not familiar, I wasn't until I got here) it's a pretty brisk drive. The highway literally follows the ocean, and I'm told does so all the way up the west coast.
I didn't make it all the way to Canada, but I did make it to Malibu.
And it was so cool!
In my original LA post, I talked (probably closer to ranted) about being alone. This was one of those examples. I snagged some coffee, put on my favorite Erika ray-bans (that are now prescription. The best thing I ever gifted myself.) and hit the road with my trusty college back-pack full of books and a towel.
There's something about hitting the beach alone. Firstly, there are tons of families. Which can make someone as single as me feel intimidated at times. But then I look a little closer and realize I'm super glad I don't have kids attached to me. Not glamorous or in my time frame currently. Secondly, there aren't a lot of solo-goers. Ever since my move, I constantly scour for loners like myself, in hopes of attacking them and making them be my friend. Usually don't have luck. But that definitely doesn't mean I'm going to stop scouting. Thirdly, you can completely observe the interesting species that frequent beaches. And the wildlife as well.
ANYWAY back to the PCH. I'm coasting along (ha, coast) with the windows down, feeling the fresh, salty air hit my face and listening to the pumpy music I have flowing. Then it gets cloudy! No! Kill joy. This is interesting because it is something that I have noticed about So Cal. It's cloudy up until noon every single day. This makes the start of the days so depressing! However, it always clears up. Now that I'm here, I almost demand sunny days. It's a Californian specialty and therefore I expect it.
I pull up into the state park, and pay my dues to park my car. Another Californian specialty. Zero free anything. For such a liberal state there sure aren't a lot of handouts............Sorry. Texan moment. I walk under a brightly decorated (literally light blue with fish painted all over it) bridge towards the beach. This beach was unlike any of the beaches I've tested out since moving here. There was a trail, and there were bluffs. Massive bluffs. I loved it! It married perfectly the landscape of a Northern beach, with the Southern beaches we all know and love in Southern California. Along the trail, you bypassed bluffs, and then there would be little coves of beaches. It helped break the people up and made private areas. Plus, I saw crabs! Yes. And many lizards. Not special. But the crabs, they were so cute! They came out and almost bit my butt as I sat on the rock, but then got camera shy as soon as I whipped out my phone. Typical.
I thoroughly enjoyed watching the waves crash up onto the rocks. I sat on a really tall one, and the waves hit with such force that I actually was getting sprayed with ocean water. It was refreshing. And I secretly wondered what it would be like if a fish was caught in the wave and flew up and smacked me in the face.
It never happened. (I was almost disappointed). I also wondered for a moment that if an earthquake came, what it would do to the rock I was sitting on. I didn't sit there too long.
My favorite thing about this park was that it wasn't AS crowded as places close to my apartment like Santa Monica pier and Venice. Those are the touristy locations after all, but I thought Malibu would be as well. I suppose it was the drive out from LA that deters most locals. I get it, I don't like to drive any more than I have to. However I'm dying to check out my surroundings, and this location was on my infinite list of things to do. To top it all off, to my surprise and pleasure, it was much cleaner than the public beaches. Thank goodness for state parks (at least my parking dues were going to some good). The water also was different. It was a much brighter hue of blue-green, and was clear. I'm excited to come back and do a camping trip someday in the park.
As I trekked the shoreline and creeped on the wildlife hiding in the rocks, I smiled. Because for the first time in a while it hit me that I'm in an amazing place, and this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity! Though having to start from ground zero and adapting to a new place has been the largest challenge I've had to face yet, I can go into it with full-blown confidence that this will change my life in the most positive of ways. I'm learning to be content with myself, how to explore and be not weirded out doing things alone, and to attack new experiences face first.
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