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Roaming Through Southern California | Pt. 11

From Santa Cruz to Los Angeles

Since my trip to my friends in Santa Cruz, I have been on my own again. I proceeded on my way along the west coast of California. The next stop was Monterey. It is a perfect place for tourists, and even now, it is overrun with visitors in late October. Somehow, I found an excellent place to park “Frederique” (the RV) near the golf course. It was quiet and disclosed there.

The only downside was that I got woken up every morning by the “plings” the drivers produced when early bird golfers hit the ball for the fairway. After three days, a friendly cop reminded me that campers are only allowed to stay for 72 hours.

bike santa cruz california photography road trip
Bike Trip with Friends in Santa Cruz, California

Santa Barbara, California

Further on to Santa Barbara. After a night somewhere along the road near Big Sur, I stayed for three nights in this town. It was gorgeous. Free parking was a more significant challenge here than in the places before. All the great parking lots close to the beach were either too dear or closed at 10 pm. Nevertheless, I found a quiet spot next to the beach in a neighborhood.

Malibu is not Los Angeles yet

The next stop was a highlight! Malibu is quite a small place along the coast. I asked a police officer about the local rules. He advised me to park on Malibu road – otherwise, it’s 72 hours. Malibu road is long. I don’t know if he had this place in mind when he recommended it, but I just parked “Frederique” along with the fanciest houses along the coast. If you ever heard a celebrity talking on television about his newly acquired property in Malibu, I guess it must be around there. I could listen to the waves at night.

After 72 hours, I left. If you ever watched the movie “The Big Lebowski,” you know that the police chief of Malibu likes to throw coffee cups around – especially at hippie-like people. So it was time to advance to the monster city: Los Angeles.

malibu camping california photography road trip
The finer neighborhoods of Malibu, California.

Getty Museum, Los Angeles

The first stop was the Getty Museum on the outskirts of L. A. It is fancy, and it is for free! Just the parking ticket for an RV costs a fortune – 15 bucks! Still, it’s worth the money. You will remember this place if you ever played GTA V to the bitter end. Anyhow – I ended up at Long Beach on this day. I was lucky again with a free and quiet place right at the beach.

Los Angeles California Road Trip Photography
Downtown Los Angeles, California

Long Beach, California

Here I had everything I could ask for. I had a free beach shower close by and a basketball court 2 minutes’ walk away. I had chosen Long Beach in the first place because of its “Sublime.” Sublime was my favorite band from the age of 17 until my twenties. Long Beach was the hometown of all the band members. You can still find artwork dedicated to the lead singer – Bradly Nowell. He died in 1992.

On the second evening, I met with a guy who found my blog on Godlike Productions. GLP is an internet forum for all kinds of weirdos. The good and the crazy ones. He was one of the great people you can find among the lunatics who roam in hordes on this website. Anyhow – I love all people that think outside the box. He brought his son along, and we had a great dinner together.

He was not the only exciting encounter on my journey since Santa Cruz. There were many spontaneous meetings with people along the way. I had many good conversations with people in a vape club in Monterey. It was the perfect place to hang out. Here I chilled the afternoons with a fellow called Kyle. Every day I met unique people: travelers from Italy with a monstrous RV I shared my prime spot in Malibu or a guy who roamed around the country with nothing more than a small bag.

I want to make a point: I am grateful for a wide variety of exciting and friendly people. Life did not disappoint me in this crucial aspect to me. I also appreciate cozy places close to the beach, which I receive daily. That is no coincidence – mind and attitude bend probabilities. That is a fact!

Sublime Long Beach California Road Trip Photography
Beachfront property in Long Beach, California

Lucid California Dreaming | Pt. 10

Roaming through California

Monterey, California

I am sitting in Monterey right now while writing this entry. It has been quite some time since my last update on this blog. What shall I say? So many things have happened, and I was just too busy adapting to different situations. Still, I want to give a summary.

Otis, Oregon

Well, let’s start where I ended my story last time. I stayed for over two weeks with my friends in Otis – a small town close to Lincoln City, right at the beautiful beach of Oregon. My friends are both in their 60s and developed pretty different lifestyles. While Bary is still very active and doing various businesses, Gary, on the other hand, does nothing more than smoking weed to “numb” the symptoms of his diabetes and writing articles on his website. Sometimes he walks on the beach, though. That is everything you can expect from him, at least so it seemed.

Besides organizing stuff for the trip to Central America, I helped Bary with his music project – JaSkaMon. It’s a form of pop-reggae with some influences that are hard to define. Great music, though!

I enjoyed my time there very much – especially with the warm days that Indian summer brought.

Reggae Band Jaskamon in Licoln City | Road Trip Travel Photography of Oregon | USA
JaSkaMon is playing in Lincoln City, Oregon.

Petroglyphs at Pyramid Lake

Because I have been traveling alone since I left Canada, I offered Gary a place in my camper to join me going southbound. First, he felt too old and sick for that, but somehow he convinced himself to give it a little more effort. So we continued together. What a surprise!

The first stop was Crater Lake in Oregon. It’s a gorgeous national park in Oregon. During our joint trip, I could interview Gary in detail about his fascinating life story. I consider him one of the last living experts on petroglyphs. Along with other people around the world, he translated certain petroglyphs that look alike but are located on different continents. Some date back many thousand years b.c.

pyramid lake petroglyphs nevada
Ancient drawings in the middle of the Nevada desert

Viewzone Website

His work casts a new light on human history, implying other highly developed cultures that vanished due to a global event. If you are interested, have a look at his website.

Even though his website layout is somehow stuck in the 90s, it is filled with great articles and profound knowledge. His full name is Gary Vey, but he once wrote a book under Dan Eden‘s synonym. This book had a significant impact some years ago. He even got invited to Germany to speak about the findings. That’s where we met for the first time. You can also find the free PDF version of his book on his website. I can only recommend reading it when you are keen on ancient history.

Our main goal was to see the petroglyphs at Pyramid Lake. This area is located on an Indian reservation in Nevada. The natives are very protective when it comes to their land. Well, we managed to get a glimpse of these carvings anyway. Gary Vay wrote an article about it that you can find here.

Back to the Coast of California

Regarding his age and condition, Gary had his adventure on this trip. In high altitudes, it gets freezing at night. I think he was not prepared for that. In South Lake Tahoe, he decided to fly back. Still, we had a great time together, and I admire his effort to accompany me so far.

In South Lake Tahoe, I had the opportunity to meet an old friend from my hometown. Jörg was going on a road trip with his dad. Somehow it is always kind of unreal meeting people from your hometown so far away. Still, we spend a lovely evening together. We even repeated this some days later.

After a cold night in Yosemite National Park and a very inspiring encounter with a hitchhiker I picked up, I met some friends in Santa Cruz. I lived with those four people in a house in Wellington, New Zealand, when I stayed there for a couple of months. That was back in 2014. It got somehow unreal again, but we had a lovely time together once more.

Now, I am continuing my trip down to Mexico. According to our plan, I will pick up Jens in Ensenada around the 20th of October. Frederique is going like a Swiss watch, and I am looking forward to seeing more of California’s beauty. If you have any suggestions – let me know!

malibu beach california photography road trip
The beautiful coast of California

Sublime Photos Of Long Beach, California

I stayed for two nights in Long Beach, which is southwest of Los Angeles. I always wanted to come to this town because of one of my favorite bands called “Sublime.” Well, at least they had been my favorite band back in my teenage years. So, that’s why Longs Beach was an important place to go. I needed to see the Sublime memorial wall and get a general feeling of the local vibe. Even though I had a couple of meetings there, I still had some time to roam around on my bike and take some pictures of the urban California coastline.

The beach is wide and sandy. The photos show the town’s mellow mood—especially in late September when you won’t find too many tourists. So here are some of the best shots from my discovery tour around Long Beach, California. Enjoy!

For more photos, go back to the Travel Photo Blog.

San Diego Road Trip Photography | California

Only a few days remained till I met up with Jens in Mexico again. So I hurried up to drive further south to the border. On my way, I crossed San Diego and many other smaller cities. I took out my camera whenever I found some time. Well, that was not the perfect setting for a photographer. Still, I found myself in some situations where it was fun to take a couple of pictures.

On my first evening, when I dropped into a wedding scenery at a beach in San Diego or when I could capture the sundown from Black Mountain. Anyhow—I was eager to get down to Mexico. There I could entirely focus on my photo artwork again.

For more photos, go back to the Travel Photo Blog.

Road Trip to the Getty Museum in Los Angeles

Early in the morning, I took a trip from Malibu to the Getty Museum on the outskirts of Los Angeles. It is the perfect place to improve my skills as an architectural photographer. The whole facility is a piece of art in itself. You could be there for days, and still, you could discover new angles to take unique pictures. Shooting photos there is a lot of fun.

I had my interpretation of an artistic photo by taking a picture of myself in one of those fancy restrooms. Inside the museum, I could even find an exhibition about photography itself. So this place is perfect for getting inspired and shooting some nice pictures simultaneously.

For more photos, go back to the Travel Photo Blog.

Road Trip California Coastline Photography

I proceeded along highway 101 to see the fantastic California coastline passing some beautiful cities like Monterey, Santa Barbara, and Malibu. Every city is unique in its way. I roamed around and took some great photos. Still, I realized that I only got the same themes I could capture with my camera. I am talking about the typical tourist pictures.

From Monterey to Malibu

Monterey Pictures

I found a nice place at the local Golf Club in Monterey to park my camper for free. With this great spot, I was set up to stay a couple of days to relax at the beach and hang out in one of the Vape Shops in town. With some good juice in my pipe, I could discover the shores of Monterey with my camera and its hordes of tourists. From there on, I continued the road along the Big Sur coastline.

Santa Barbara Photography

Finding a parking lot for overnight camping in Santa Barbara is tricky. The spots are expensive along the coastline, or you can’t leave your car there as soon as it gets dark. So I had to find a quiet place in those communities with tiny houses. The beach is long and beautiful, and all around, you can find free showers and restroom facilities.

Malibu Photography

Malibu is a fancy little community north of Los Angels along the California coastline. It is also known from the movie “The Big Lebowski” and “Two And Half Man” TV series – a few associations German travelers like me have when arriving in this town.

Somehow I found a well disclosed little spot right where all those Hollywood stars talk about when they mention on television that they just bought a cozy little place in Malibu. So I managed to have several nights in one of those porch neighborhoods without being detected. After three days, I left because I did not want any fuzz with the Police Chief of Malibu.

For more photos, please go back to the Travel Photo Blog.

Road Trip Photography Santa Cruz, California

Pictures of Santa Cruz, CA

My next destination was Santa Cruz on the California coast. Time was pressing on my road trip. I had to make a giant leap from Nevada to the sandy beaches of California. Some friends from New Zealand came over to Santa Cruz for a couple of days, and I wanted to meet up with them. That’s why photography was not my immediate plan. I became more of a trucker than a photographer.

From Lake Tahoe to Santa Cruz

In Lake Tahoe, I met another friend from my hometown Magdeburg. I crossed Yosemite National Park, a paradise for photographers, but I only managed to get a few quick shots. If you like to take some amazing photos there, I can only recommend that you bring some time along.

In the end, I made it safe and sound to the mecca of skateboarding on the coast of California, where we spent some sunny days surfing and exploring the city with bicycles.

For more photos, go back to the Travel Photo Blog.