“Oh, yeah,” she replied.
“No shit? I said, expecting it to be a joke about how he’s haunted by obnoxious baby boomers who buy $19 cups of hummingbird food mixed into a milkshake and don’t tip. “What is he haunted by?
“Ghosts,” she said simply, and that was it. Ghosts. OK. Well, I tried.
As we were driving down Sepulveda, we were nearly run off the road by two black SUVs with car horns that had been replaced with the horns of a tractor-trailer. Sepulveda, by the way, is a long winding mountain road made up almost entirely of blind turns after other. In other words, exactly the worst kind of terrain to drive on like a massive jerk.
We managed to survive these two driving weeds like Speed Racer was trying to get the most reckless driving quotes in Glendale and got to santa monica. After some aimless driving, we found the trailhead. It’s a dirt dirt road cut through a neighborhood where people definitely use the phrase “help.”
We took the way, and man, it’s unbelievable how fast you are right in the middle of nothing. In a second you’re in an expensive suburb of the world 23rd largest city and the next second, there is absolutely nothing to hear but the lone chirping of crickets and the hoarse, subtle chorus of California cicadas. The two times a helicopter flew over it looked like an intrusion from an alien world. It was, frankly, a little strange here, despite its breathtaking beauty.
It is there, at the bottom of this valley, that we were going. The belly of the beast. The path we were on wound around the edge of the valley and from the websites I had read there should be an easily avoidable staircase that would take us straight a few miles ahead of us. After about a mile on the trail the sidewalk started to crack and break. Some parts were just dirt. As we walked further along the verdant canyon, we eventually found the staircase, which is a very generous description of what is, in essence, a set of jagged concrete IKEA shelves randomly strewn across one face of mountain with a slope so severe that, were it even a hair of a ball steeper, these “stairs” would cross the territory of the “ladders” quite quickly.