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Malibu Creek State Park

I don't have a lot to say about cities. But hang on, I may get onto something else. If you've been hanging around here very long, you already know that what's at the top of the page may not be what's at the bottom.

Cities are a problem for RVers. No place to park. Traffic lights programmed by quick change artists. Curved streets with cars parked on both sides, gradually narrowing into a nice little trap. Unmarked dead ends. O yeah. O yeah.

I remember wanting to take a left turn in Portland once. They made me drive a couple of miles and cross a bridge before it was legal.

My advice is to find a nearby park and ditch the trailer. That's what I did, both in San Francisco and here in LA. In the City by the Bay, I stayed in Samuel P. Taylor State Park, a lingering southern patch of redwoods near Lagunitas. From there it's a straight shot down Francis Drake Blvd. to 101 in Greenbrae, where I hoped to catch the ferry. Unfortunately it was a Sunday, and the ferry was on half rations.

I also noticed a big sign in the parking lot that said NO RVS, which made me feel provident.

In the end I just drove across the Golden Gate, pulled off on Marina Blvd, and parked on the street in front of a Safeway. There was quite a lot of street parking, though not for RVs. I was told you could park a Motorhome at the Palace of Fine Arts for free, but I can't vouch for that. Anyway, it was a short walk across Fort Mason to the Maritime Museum and Fisherman's Wharf.

I did all the usual tourist stuff. Ate seafood, rode the cable cars, gawked at all them taaall buildings. Visited various museums up and down Market, including the Asian museum in the old Library.

They have an impressive City Hall here. It looks like something you wouldn't want to fight.

I was surprised at the mild weather, and pissed that I was carrying a coat around. Then it started pouring rain, and the coat got soaked. So much for providence. I finally took a cab back to the truck.

San Francisco is a wonderful place. And I was glad to get out of there.

In LA I had the same plan, and found a pretty good site at Malibu Creek State Park. It's a bit of the old coastal hills preserved in the midst of all the concrete, about halfway between 101 and Malibu on Las Virgines Road. You could do worse. You can get around to Downtown and Pasadena and Venice Beach about as well from here as anywhere. It's quiet, and no more expensive than any other state park.

I did the Getty and the Simon and the County Museum of Art, just because I might not be back this way soon. Seen from the aerie of the Getty, Los Angeles is either an inspiring or a godawful sight. On an inversion day, it looks like a preliminary drawing for Blade Runner, which I guess it is.

But from the street level, LA is just like any other city. There's just a lot more of it. The brown cloud isn't so noticeable. Neighborhoods blend into strip malls into warehouse districts into neighborhoods again. On and on, people living out their lives. It ain't all bad.

And Venice beach is a passle of entertainment. Don't miss it.

For all they cuss the freeways, in the middle of the day you can get around pretty easily here, even pulling a trailer. Just stay out of the left lane. Of course, in the morning, and again in the evening, it doesn't matter what lane you're in.

But my real business here was to pick up some mail and visit with my stepson and his wife. They're thinking about having kids, and I tried to make a case for the affirmative. Then I shut my mouth before anything I had to say became the kiss of death for the project.

What's the old acronym? Dinks. Double Income, No Kids. That's them.

When I was his age, my life was pretty full, too, and I didn't see any need for kids. But then, as my thirties wore on, everyone I knew was towing little versions of themselves to soccer games and school plays, and suddenly that seemed like just the thing to do.

Funny how it's built into you. Phases and stages. Unfortunately not everyone is synchronized perfectly.

So much for cities. Time to get back to the beach.

I wonder if San Diego is still burning?


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