• Hiking in Solstice Canyons

    Originally posted on MySpace: Wed. July 4, 2007
    I've made several hikes since this post...including one where Amber walked up on a California Mountain Kingsnake! Goodness...

    Solstice Canyons – July 3, 2007

    I went on a morning hike with Amber and it was a lot of fun…until we spooked ourselves out! We went to the canyons in Malibu with the hopes of making it to the waterfalls that entice people to visit this particular trail. Well, there were probably 5 cars in the parking lot. We began our hike and quickly realized we were alone…or so it felt. Eventually we encountered two other hikers, who were running…in the OPPOSITE direction! We figured they were runners exploring the trails. We journeyed on.

    Ok…so the runners were still on our minds. We were getting higher and higher up the mountain…away from civilization. The mind tricks began. Every single crack of dry branch…every little rustle of leaves in the breeze…the smallest lizard running back into the grass from the giants walking the trail…every noise innocently resonating along the way scared the shit out of us! We stopped…abruptly stopped every 30 seconds at SOMETHING. Our various stops began to frighten each other, "What you stop for?!" "Why you lookin' in the bushes like that?!" "What you see?!"

    By this point, I'm winded. I'm bent over like an out of shape basketball player trying to catch their breath at the sides of the free throw line…gripping the bottom of my shorts at the knees. All I could think, "If something jumped out to get us, would I have the energy to run…to save my own damn life?!" I get my breath…we press on.

    The paranoia simply grows. Every time I needed to pause, Amber would yell at me, "You got to let a sistah know when you are going to stop!! I keep going, I look back, you ain't even there! I freak out and here you come bopping around the trail like everything is cool! If something get you, I'm going to think she's just back there tired!! Let me know when you stop!!!" It became funny after a while…for just a little while.

    The trail led us to this beautiful opening. On one side you see the ocean…on the other side mountains…no signs of greater Los Angeles. Beautiful seems so wrong to say…it was so much more. But here rest the problem: NO signs of greater Los Angeles! No people!! We could not shut the voices in our minds at all! We laughed at each other at first. We realized we were both thinking the same thing: "If something jumped out to get us, there are only two of us and the car is too far away!!!" We wanted to go further but just could not put to rest the visions from the movie "Prey" where the family wanting to experience the wilds of Africa became the PREY of the wilds of Africa! We turned and headed back towards the car…quickly. Our quick walk turned into an aggressive skip which progressed to a light jog which graduated to a 'we are REALLY trying to get the hell out of here' run! We laughed hysterically once we made it to the car, but there was a feeling of failure lingering over us. Why were we so easily spooked? What was it about the quiet or the subtle sounds of the outdoors that ignited our imaginations and inspired us to run out of our amazing surroundings? It evoked every comedy routine I've ever heard about black folks being too afraid to hang around when danger is remotely possible. Hell, we got up EARLY for this! All I could think was there were mountain cats and I ain't no fool!! Still not wanting to be so easily defeated we vowed we would try again…try again soon. We want to round up the troops first.

    So, be on standby, we want to see the waterfalls! You have to go with us!

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