Featured Writer: Isabel Thottam
I’ve decided the Los Angeles lifestyle isn’t very fitting for my thrill for adventure. I enjoy life better on the road. At least for now, while I’m young. But LA has its pros and cons an I’ve learned alot at my internship, so I can’t say it’s all bad. I think the best part about LA is the fact that it’s sort of a hub for all the adventures you can have outside of it. The hiking has been pretty rad out here, which is why I definitely want to stay out West, though I appreciate the East coast more and long for Boston’s accesible city. I’ve ventured to Hermosa Beach and Santa Monica to visit the beach as well, both nice areas but too touristy.
Which is why Malibu is my favorite place I’ve seen in Cali so far.
I found myself incredibly anxious from all the traffic the past two weeks, so my friend Matt and I decided to take a much needed day trip to Malibu, where we hiked in the Santa Monica Mountains and went CLIFFJUMPING – an item on my bucket list I’ve been far to scared about since I wrote it down.
First, I’ll explain the hike. It was very different from out last hike in the San Gabriels – mainly because it was dry and well, desert-like. The clouds were over the beach so we could barely see the ocean when we reached the top of the mountain, but my oh my was it HOT – there wasn’t a cloud in the perfectly blue sky! We reached the Sandstone Peak (highest peak in the Santa Mounica Mts.) and it was an incredible view! We ate some trail mix at the top for some energy (Trader Joe’s Trek Mix is simply the best!) but were already running low on water – it was just so hot out!
We were doing the Mishe Mokwa Trail to see the Tri-Peaks , it was about 7 miles and took us 3 hours.
We did some trail running again on the way down – there were some great downhill areas – but it was pretty rocky and I was in a clumsy mood. Matt wanted to scramble (meaning we climbed up the side of a cliff using just our hands) It was pretty steep but so cool afterwards when we reached the top and had lunch on a rock we just climbed up!
Oh I forgot to mention how FUN the drive up to the trailhead was! Winding roads through a canyon with blue skies and great music! Plus, the houses we passed were amazing because they were clearly owned by a bunch of retired, rich people looking for seclusion!
After the hike in the Santa Monica Mountains, we were so dehyrated and hot all we wanted was the ocean. We were just outside Malibu so we drove down through the valley and hit the Pacific Coast Highway which is BY FAR my favorite highway ever! How wonderful it was – wide, open, right along the coast with a beautiful view – but the best part was the fruit trucks! Yep! Farmers had trucks posted alongside the road with berry signs kind of like this:
We bought half a box of strawberries and they were so perfectly ripe, they melted in your mouth and were the best strawberries I’d ever had! The only way they could’ve been better is if we had picked them ourselves. We pulled over to the beach and ate the strawberries with some coconut water and chips – can you tell how dehydrated we were?
On the way back, we stopped by Malibu Creek State park where I crossed off an item on my bucket list by jumping off a 40ft cliff! Not going to lie, I was terrified, mostly because I had no idea what to expect – how it would feel to free fall and hit water at such a fast speed. The sound of people hitting the water scared me a bit and it wasn’t the deepest water so there was a chance your feet would hit it. Yeah, try hearing all of this while you’re standing ontop of the cliff, watching your friend run and jump off so easily. But, I decided that I’d been wanting to do this and the fear would only last a few seconds – and I didn’t get to that moment to jump off the smaller cliff. So, I ran and jumped. And it was incredible. What a rush and though it hurt a bit hitting the water (my right arm was out so it hit the water pretty hard) but I want and will do it again – I just have to get better!
And now I have one more item crossed off my bucket list!
It was the perfect escape to the busy city and smoggy air. I could breathe so much easier out there, away from the traffic and honking horns. Much needed and I do love that California offers such grand adventures.
Until next time – keep traveling and keep discovering new places. I’ll do the same.