Wednesday, February 21, 2007

That's not smog, that's MARINE LAYER

So, this weekend, I took my NYC friend Kate to the Sunset Ranch stables, and we took a little ride along the ridge between the Hollywood Hills and the San Fernando Valley.

My horse, Tonto, was ornery in that way that stabled horses can be sometimes, but I showed him who was boss (me!) and he was fine after that. We saw a very hungry looking coyote on the trail who trotted away from us quickly, and then paused for a moment on the edge of a ravine very picturesquely before disappearing into the chaparral. No doubt he had other fish to fry.

Our guide was a very unspoiled dude who grew up on his family's ranch in Fresno. He spoke of LA as if it still completely mystified him how people managed to get around such a place. He told us he did some competitive riding in Industry Hills. He looked about 40, but he was so tanned and his squint wrinkles were so deep that he could easily have been 10 years younger. At one point, as we were riding along side of a hillside that had been cut away for the trail, he confided that he would look through the exposed layers of earth for glints of gold. It was a habit he had gotten from his father, who would send him into streams on their ranch whenever he saw a suspicious glint. It was usually fool's gold, he said. He then ran his hand along the earth wall and speculated that (and I quote), "there's gold in these here hills."

At that point, Kate looked back at me with her "Did you hear that?" face. I mouthed the words "I'm in love" back to her.

Sometimes, living in LA sure doesn't suck.


RandyLuvsPaiste said...

I've been looking for places to ride in LA. I'll hafta ask you for recommendations.

Phil said...

As Cube said, 'Today was a good day.'

MonstrousJoe said...

Ride 'em, cowgirl.

SJ said...

I crap bigger'en you. (an ode to Jack Palance)

GETkristiLOVE said...

They named him Tonto? No wonder he was ornery.

Dave said...

Horses kinda scare me.

Anon. Blogger said...

Sounds fabulous!! I live in horse country and have horse property. I'd LOVE to have a horse (and a cowboy to go with it, acutally!)

I agree, living in the west doesn't suck at all!! Mountains, beaches, cowboys...

uh, er, are picking up on a theme here??? :-)

vikkitikkitavi said...

Randy: Go to Sunset Ranch. Just take Beachwood Canyon all the way to the top. You can't miss it. Prices not bad either.

Phil: Right, cause just yesterday them fools tried to blast me.

MJ: Thanks, I appreciate the support.

SJ: My mom loved Jack Palance. I was all "ew," but mom always said he was so ugly he was pretty.

Kristi: I knew I was in trouble when I saw him bite the stable's friendly golden retreiver in the ass.

Dave: Horses are totally scary. Who knows what they're thinking. But it's definitely one of those don't show fear situations. Also helps if you bring a carrot or apple bribe.

Anon: Believe it or not, there are definitely horse neighborhoods in LA. There is a huge one near me in Burbank, near the equestrian center. Horses have their own lane on the surface streets there. Maybe some day I can afford a horse, and a horse property. Actually, what I really want to have is goats. I adore goats.