California Science Center

The first time I ever went to a science center was in the 1970’s in Toronto. It was fun and enlightening and we have made a habit of going to Science Centers as we travel around the world. We have been to centers in New Jersey,San Francisco, Chicago, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Milan and others.

This year we went to The California Science Center in Los Angeles for the first time. It is a beautifully designed facility and the special exhibit was the Magic of Pixar. It was a fun peak behind the science of animation. They also limited the amount of people in the special exhibit through reservations so it was never too crowded and it made the exhibit more accessible

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California Science Center

California Science Center

Also Santa Monica

Yesterday I posted Santa Monica and extolled on the virtues of this wonderful beach town. Although as Dr Phil says, no mater how flat you make a pancake it has two side.

Another view from the Santa Monica Pier.

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Also Santa Monica

Santa Monica

The first time I saw the beach at Santa Monica was in 1967. The pier looks pretty much the same today and the beach is still a spectacular stretch of white sand. Of course the neighborhood is even more upscale and wealthy then it was in the 1960’s. They were just building the Interstate 10 and back then Santa Monica couldn’t compete with Westwood and Beverly Hills. Of course it is beachfront and as Los Angeles grew so did the price tag in Santa Monica.

It is a public beach so you see all kinds of people there from hippies and families to bodybuilders and of course tourists. There is a wonderful bike and pedestrian path that runs all the way from the Pier to Venice and Muscle Beach. It is a great walk for people watching and exercise.

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Santa Monica

Santa Monica

The Dragon of San Monica Pier

Santa Monica

Boot Hill Graveyard

I had read about Brisbee Arizona. It is an old mining town in the mountains to the southeast of Tucson. It is now an artist colony and old west ghost town of sorts and I thought it would make an interesting day trip while we were in Tucson. I didn’t realize that to get there we had to go through Tombstone and the bonus of the day trip was seeing the Boot Hill Graveyard.

The graveyard was fascinating. So many people were shot or murdered in a period of just five years. Here were the graves of the infamous Clanton Gang. At one time they rode with Frank and Jesse James. The cemetery was small but well maintained and free to the public. Just down the road is the OK Coral and the famous Tombstone Courthouse.

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Boot Hill Graveyard


Boot Hill Graveyard

East Jesus California

We left Salvation Mountain and headed down the dirt road towards East Jesus. This was ultimately the destination for our off the grid day trip from our cushy digs in the Palm Desert. We had read about an artist community in East Jesus and were eager to see their outdoor sculpture garden.

The road leading there was beyond bizarre. More rusted out trailers, twenty or so washing machines lined up in a row in the middle of the desert. We then saw a sign that said Slab City. Slab City was a collection of tents and rusted out trailers, broken down buses. One large tent had a sign that said “Martini Lounge, Live Music Nightly” another said “Furniture and Crystals for Sale”. In front of the tents people sat on lawn chairs and waved at us as we drove by. It looked like a movie set from Mad Max or A Boy and His Dog.

I thought about stopping but I had my sister and wife with me. I have another friend who attempted to go to East Jesus but turned back after seeing Slab City saying they were too scared to go on. Another musician friend went into the Martini Lounge but seeing the dark layout of couches and chairs went backed to the Salton Sea and played around a campfire for an audience of one. He said he could have played there but would have been scared to have his spouse sitting in the audience alone on one of the couches.

We came to a fork in the road. The fork was about six feet high and had a sign pointing right to East Jesus and left to West Satan. We finally arrived at the artists commune. A nice young man was there with a cute friendly dog. He gave us some information on the artist group and you can find out more about them at their website. . All in all it was a unique day trip from the Palm Desert and well worth the drive.

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East Jesus California

East Jesus California

Salvation Mountain

We continued south on California route 111 towards Mexicali 1eaving Bombay Beach and the Salton sea behind us. We were heading towards Slab City and when we got to Niland California we made a left turn and after a short ride through town we left pavement and electricity behind us. We were now off the grid. No cell towers, electric lines or even buildings.

Beside the road were rusted out trailers and campers. Some were occupied, we even saw a couple with Direct TV dishes and gas powered generators. Then we saw in front of us a bunch of cars parked just off the dirt road and an artificial mountain made of rusted junk that was spray painted bright garish colors.This was Salvation Mountain, a tribute to Jesus Christ made out trash in the middle of the Great Sonoran Desert. Another stop on our trip through California the Weird.

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Salvation Mountain

Salvation Mountain

Orthopedist Delight ?

Walking along the Santa Monica Beach you can see just about anything. There are street musicians, athletes, beggars,families, young lovers and even an occasional whale offshore. There were rope tightropes stretched about two feet off the sand where people could practice tightrope walking. I watched this young woman thinking about how hard it must be to balance with one arm already in a positional cast. Do you think her Orthopedic Surgeon would be happy or mad?

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Orthopedist Delight ?

Orthopedist Delight ?