Saturday, February 21, 2009

A Change of Scenes

I left the victim in book four of the crochet mysteries dead on the beach and let my son talk me into going for a walk in the mountains behind us. It still amazes me how we can drive a short distance through some twisty streets of houses, park just before the street ends, and walk into a wilderness. More specifically it’s the Santa Monica Mountain conservancy.

It was a perfect time for a walk. The afternoon had started to fade and the temperature had dropped into the low 60's. The sky was clear except for some clouds that looked like wisps of hair and the recent rains had left everything green and sweet smelling.

The path from where the streets ends led us up to the dirt road portion of Mullholland. We took the opposite turn we usually do and after a short burst of bushes and open area, we passed a large concreted rectangle we think is a helicopter pad or at least we saw a helicopter land there once. It’s surrounded by wild growth and giant hunks of sand colored rock. As we continued, the road turned and there was tall growth on either side with an occasional path going off and disappearing.

When we reached the creepy water tank behind the barbed wire fence we turned off onto an asphalt road that goes a short way and then abruptly ends just before a steep cliff. From there we took a narrow path that led up and around until we reached a summit that offered a fabulous view. The helicopter pad seemed about the size of a postage stamp. Beyond, the San Fernando Valley looked like a sparkling carpet as lights came on. There was still of dusting of snow on some of the taller mountains that ring the Valley. The Santa Monicas aren’t as tall and thanks to the ocean air that finds it way through them, are much greener. As we looked back into the Santa Monicas, we could see mysterious houses tucked into secret valleys that seemed to have no outlet.

The sun was beginning to slide behind the mountains to the west when we started back. By the time we got to dirt Mullholland, the sun was gone and the sky becoming night. Coyotes starting to think about dinner yipped in the distance. We passed pockets of fragrant, cold, damp air that had wound its way in from the ocean. It was completely dark when we reached the street and the car.

Then it was home and back to work on who fed my victim on the beach the deadly s’more.


Camille Minichino said...

Oh oh - was this the s'more recipe with peanut butter?

Betty Hechtman said...

Yes, Camille, that's the one.

Camille Minichino said...

I'm glad I don't camp!