Burt and I are up at nearly 8,500′ on the top of Mount Pinos just outside of LA. It’s chilly up here. The magic of internet in the woods allows me to blog today. We spent a couple of days in LA visiting friend and family. Burt and I joined Laura and Barry for a new play ‘Archduke’ set at the start of WWI. The play was fantastically political and humorous and sad. Afterwards the four of us walked the streets of downtown LA and I saw things I had only seen in TV land or on the movie screen. I’m always struck by how familiar LA is because we are so exposed to it through film. We even ran into a disaster movie of some sort that was filming on the street. Action packed and messy was all I saw. I am sad to report there were no zombies. Lots of toilet paper and fog and wrecked cars and people running. It kind of looked like an explosion.
We also visited Uncle George and Aunt Carol. George hasn’t been 100% so he is temporarily in a nursing facility. We visited him twice and despite his illness he seemed like himself. He’s got some short term memory loss but he knew all of us. Growing old ain’t for sissies. George and Carol both like our music so we decided to throw a concert on Memorial Day for George and his fellow residents. As usual, we were a hit with the over 80 crowd. Carol even got up and sang a few with us. Burt’s family is not shy. I felt lucky and nostalgic to be there. The first time I met George was 7 years ago when we had just taken off on this nomadic life. He and Carol welcomed us into their home despite a shortage of chairs and table space. George did a big twirling dance to the Bear Necessities while wearing a USC blanket on Christmas day. It was a sight.
Now we are headed up to Burt’s dad’s place where we will drop off the gNash and Mimi before we leave for Spain and Italy. The Olvis are headed to a kennel. Tonight’s camping spot, Mount Pinos, is the center of the universe to the Chumash people of coastal California. This mountain is isolated and sticks up all alone near the coast. It’s an easy spot to visit because you can camp up high and park near the summit. This is especially helpful when you can hardly breathe. A two mile walk up a gentle slope from the parking lot takes you to a ridge that feels as much like the center of the universe as anywhere I’ve been. It’s very remote and surrounded by wilderness areas yet only an hour and a half from the turmoil of LA. It takes some kind of big magic to feel so far away from the traffic and mania. Check it out. You might be luckier than us and spot a California Condor.