Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Exploring LA's Wild Side: Part 2

So Part 2 of my weekend nature adventures (you can read Part 1 here) goes to show that planning is shit. Sometimes you plan certain things with certain people (like relationships, or trips to the zoo) and they don't work out and other times you just happen to be driving home and you see people pedaling boats on a lake and decide that it is the perfect moment for you, too, to take some time off and pedal boats on a lake (aka work out your legs while taking 4823948234 pedal boat selfies). 

LA Zoo
I was pretty excited to go to the zoo on Sunday and lost my enthusiasm when I realized that finding a parking space was going to be very difficult. After doing circles around the parking lot for 30 minutes or so, I made the executive decision (it's always the executive decision when you're riding solo) to leave and go somewhere else (like Mount Wilson; see way below). Until next time, flamingoes and cute lil' giraffe babes. Either way, I've been told--and I believe--that the San Diego Zoo is much more worth it than LA. 

Boat House at Echo Park
You know those activities that you're always telling yourself you're going to try, and a year passes by and you still haven't done them? This was my thing with the pedal boats at Echo Park. It's close to home; I always say I'm going to go out there and try it out, and for some reason, I just hadn't gotten around to it yet--it's always too hot, too cold, I'm too lazy, whatever. So this past weekend, I was driving toward Silver Lake and when I saw everyone out on the boats (it was an incredibly beautiful day), I was like, eff it; let's go. Pedal boats are $10 a person, you can stay out on the lake for an hour or so and if you pedal the right way, it's a decent/fun workout. 

Mount Wilson Observatory
Mount Wilson is freakin' awesome and just reopened for the spring on April 1st. It takes about an hour to get there from Los Feliz/Glendale because most of the drive is up a mountain at 20-something miles per hour. I felt a little dizzy, although I was driving--maybe it was the altitude, maybe it was that I'd only had a donut and a coffee before heading up.

There is an outdoor cafe up there, a picnic area in case you bring your own food, a museum, and a few telescopes--one of which is a 150-foot tower telescope. Pretty cool thinking/picnicking/hiking place. There are a lot of spots to pullover on the way up or down and you can stop for some #sohigh IG pics, if that's your thing. It is a little scary when you're so close to the edge, though, and I prefer to stay a little further back. As someone who's never been afraid of heights, I am getting a little more finicky with age. Like, what if something were to just take over my brain and make me jump?

Antelope Valley Poppy Reserve
Lastly, a poppy field in Lancaster that was a little out of the way--about 60 miles from my place in Northeast LA--but worth the drive if you're anything like me, and want to think and like to drive on empty, windy roads. A good playlist'll get you through those fun roads and farmland in no time. I had an unpleasant surprise in that most of the poppies were dead due to the godforsaken drought and I had an "I may be at the wrong place at the wrong time" moment when I realized I'd have to hike up this solitary dirt trail to see anything (wildflowers, lizards, birds); the people I ran into on the trail were friendly enough, and mostly Asian, but still, I'd recommend going (and next time I will go) with a friend. Safety first, peeps. 

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