Saturday, April 14, 2012

Wild Los Angeles

When we hear the name Los Angeles, most of us conjure up images of movie stars, palm trees, and clogged traffic of mind-bending density.  Oh, and smog.  All of those things exist, but LA is a county as well as a city, and on the ragged edges of the land of angels one finds fantastic mountains and deserts, peaks thousands of feet high, arid lands low, dry and hot. For years Jodi and I have known about the unusual place called Devil's Punchbowl, but for some reason we had never made the trek.  Last month, we loaded up the Subaru with climbing gear, Django, and lunch and made the trip.  The area is a fantastic region of sharply tilted sandstone ridges, some of them hundreds of feet high.  Unlike the coarse desert granite (quartz monzonite) that we so often climb, this stuff was a bit slick and a little gritty.  In fact, the English call this "grit stone."  We did a couple of challenging little climbs, but mostly we just hiked and gawked and drank in the wonder of strangeness, feeling small and grateful in a big, twisted landscape.

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