Nature is something that surrounds you when you live Los Angeles, CA. Something I had known was going to be the case, but I hadn’t really wrapped my head around the full meaning. That has changed now however.
Since moving to California I have gone on a number of hikes. Every time I ventured out into the mountains I knew what the risks were. Poison oak creeps around every bend, rattlesnakes slither along the ground and coyotes roam freely in the wild. My first thought was to be too freaked out to venture out on any nature hikes, but I quickly got over that thanks to how beautiful California is.
Then this past weekend arrived and the reality of what is truly involved in the wilds of California became clear to me. Walking along a dirt path in Lake Hughes, California this past weekend my friend came to a sudden stop. She was looking off to the side of the path when she said, “um is that what I think it is?”
It was exactly what she thought it was. My first thought was that it was a snake coiled quietly in the desert mountain brush. That alone would have disgusted me more than enough for me to head back to my car and drive back to my apartment in West Hollywood. Yet it wasn’t a snake of any kind. Instead it was the remains of a coyote. The rib cage to be exact. It redefined coyote ugly for me because those remains were no pretty.
You would think a snake would have bothered me more since I am petrified of snakes, but something about this random rib cage sitting a quarter-mile away from the little cabin room I was going to be staying in that night completely shook me. Every bone had been licked clean. It was as if the rib cage was an impostor, but it wasn’t. It was the real deal!
One of the feelings I was plagued by my last six months in New York City was that I felt overwhelmed by the lack of places I could escape to and not see buildings all around me. I wanted nature and open spaces. Spaces where I could exercise and clear my mind. After 5 1/2 years Central Park was no longer cutting it for me.
Now I have to ask, what have I gotten myself into? And even more, as we learned from Jessica Simpson’s sad experience when her dog was snatched by a coyote, what have I gotten my dog Evian into?
I’m not going to let this realization of what exactly is involved when it comes to nature stop me from going on more hikes, but it sure as heck is a new experience when moving from New York City… oh wait… is it a new experience? I guess I forgot about this little guy that ran loose in NYC two years ago!