LA greeted me with smog and pastel orange sky. yellow and red rivers of glowing traffic. clouds like ribcages in the air. the biggest city i'd been so far. the air smells a lot like spain, a blend of the salty ocean breeze and palm trees and dust, spiced with sweat and chlorine. it was incredibly nice to feel the evening warmth on my skin after nearly five months of cold.
nighttime LA is different. it smells of fast food and sewage and the air gets thicker and chilly after the day's heat. we went on a ferris wheel in santa monica beach and the city looked somewhat sad and empty as it cooled down.
i also splurged on custom designed converse shoes (which i am very happy about).
i fell in love with strawberries and avocadoes. everyone in california is very health conscious and even your burger is probably organic. food was one of my daily joys (and i somehow lost weight with all this eating).
the mountains are higher than anything i've ever seen. we're driving in a dark canyon on the ortega highway and it's cold outside and we stop for the most incredible nighttime view of lake elsinore. the city is like flowing gold. everything around us is quiet and i photograph everything in my memory. the sounds, the smells, the lights. it's a calm place to be.
(fun fact: ortega highway is a very popular dumping ground among serial killers.)
perhaps there is nothing more amazing than swimming in a pool in the middle of the night when the air is just perfectly warm and the water a little bit too cold and the jacuzzi way too hot. we drove 45 minutes just to find a swimming pool. (completely worth it.)
i saw the glamour of las vegas and the trashy gold towns by route 395. i let my hands run over the boulders in red rock canyon and i let my lungs breathe in the desert. it's a whole different world.
we drove back through death valley. it's a vast, endless desert sleeping between the mountains, adorned with salt flats and lonely, dead vegetation. a land to get lost in. driving on the roads alone and not knowing where the nearest town could be.
i am a small human being, an ant among the giants, the bark under my feet is hundreds of years old. i am one with the nature, their roots grow inside me. it's a sacred forest for the spirit.
i spent my last sunset in salt creek, watching the waves cradle the surfers. it felt good. it felt like the best possible ending. it felt good to finally put away the camera and collect all the memories. and knowing that i will be back one day. thank you, jeff, for travelling with me.