MAY 22, 1996: WEDNESDAY

DAY/ACTIVITY

Scheduled trip: -
Actual trip: Victorville, CA - Long Beach, CA (105 miles)

Long Beach in the house...
Wednesday morning Mark wanted an oil change (preferably synthetic oil) for the Mustang. After checking with the local yellow pages, we found an adequate lube place and hung around while the operation was performed.

On the way to Long Beach, our intended base for the next few days, we passed through some of LA's suburbs. We came pretty close to Disneyland in Anaheim. From the main arteries not much of the city itself could be seen. The roads were either elevated or submerged in the ground, and large concrete slabs shielded the surroundings from the noise of the many cars.

Long Beach was fairly quiet that Wednesday morning. Only a few other cars occupied the parking lot near our motel. We got a room on the 2nd floor. Access to this upper level was by an outside stairway. The room was dark and nondescript like so many other rooms we encountered on our trip. There was no sense in staying cooped up so we proceeded down to the beach, half a mile away.

The beach was virtually deserted even though the sun was out. It was still early in the season, even for southern California! A four feet wide concrete walkway ran parallel with the water as far as the eye could see. Occasionally bike riders went past us. The Pacific looked inviting but we knew the water was too cold to enter. Instead we sat down on the sand and relaxed for a while, analyzing our situation. First priority of our adventure had been achieved: we had reached the West Coast.

Lunchtime approached rapidly. A small junk food outlet served us well. While we ate our Nachos, a couple of police officers on bicycles stopped and had some lunch too.

We talked about what to do next and the choice fell upon the Hollywood area. First we drove through the fashionable Beverly Hills (nine-oh-two-one-oh) and Bel Air (nine-oh-two-one-one) to gawk at the many mansions. Next we tried to find a way up to the famous Hollywood sign in the hills above the town but to no avail. We ended up in yet another high-class neighborhood.

Later the Mustang was left at a parking meter and we walked along Hollywood Boulevard, which is also known as the Walk of Fame. Everybody who has achieved a certain amount of fame in Hollywood's film industry has received a star in the sidewalk. Each slab of concrete has the hand and foot impression of whoever the star belong to. Among some of the names we stepped on were Marilyn Monroe, Boris Karloff, and Charles Chaplin. Melrose Avenue was checked out afterwards. Melrose, a very trendy neighborhood, has some of the weirdest shops one can find in Los Angeles. Also, quite a few of the pedestrians were extreme in their choice of clothing and hairstyles. We didn't seem to blend in very well but that was probably for the best. Most of the 'freaks' had spiky hairdos or generally just dressed like some sort of deviants. For an observer it wasn't hard to tell that the four of us, rednecks: body and soul, had just arrived from good ol' Carolina!

At Jonny Rocket's, a sidewalk dive on Melrose, we sat down and had some drinks. The establishment excelled in different flavored cola, and as true "Pulp Fiction" fans we had Vanilla Cokes.

Later, at Santa Monica we walked the beach and the characteristic pier, which contains restaurants and an amusement park. The evening was rather chilly and we were only lightly clothed. By this time the sun had gone down but it was too early to go back to the motel.

Downtown LA was busy. Many people walked on Third Street and the atmosphere was relaxed and pleasant, a far cry from what one might picture LA at night. We found another Jonny Rocket's and had more Vanilla Cokes and Chili Fries. Manuel and Dave wanted to check out House of Blues but you had to be 21 to enter so we went back to Long Beach instead.

<<May 21, 1996<<

 

Day 00: Prelude
Day 01: Leaving NC
Day 02: Tupelo, MS
Day 03: Henryetta, OH
Day 04: Roswell, NM
Day 05: Flagstaff, AZ
Day 06: Las Vegas, NV
Day 07: Victorville, CA
Day 08: Long Beach, CA
Day 09: Los Angeles, CA
Day 10: Thousand Oakes, CA
Day 11: Malibu, CA
Day 12: Lompoc, CA
Day 13: Lompoc, CA
Day 14: Palo Alto, CA
Day 15: Palo Alto, CA
Day 16: Fallon, NV
Day 17: Escalante, UT
Day 18: Grand Junction, CO
Day 19: Lafayette, CO
Day 20: Colby, KS
Day 21: St. Louis, MO
Day 22: Knoxville, TN
Day 23: Burlington, NC
Epilogue: Author's notes

 

 

PHOTOS & MEDIA 

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Sound: What to drink in LA.

Video: Los Angeles (6:53) B/W
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