June 19th, 2001: Hollywood Blvd and the San Gabriel Mountains

A good sleep at the campground. More pay showers. I suppose they don't want people wasting too much water. Got to see some cute wabbits on the way out. Breakfast at the nearest Denny's and then onwards to Los Angeles and Hollywood...

As expected, I got lost almost immediately after entering Los Angeles. Managed to find Sunset Blvd and drove it until it wore out its welcome. Bought some scary sunglasses and got lost a little more until I finally made it to Hollywood Blvd.

Hollywood Blvd was a bit of a letdown. Checked out the Walk of Fame and all the hand prints outside of Mann's Chinese Theater, but most of the strip was devoted to t-shirt shops, tattoo parlours, and a lot of tacky tourist stuff. I wandered around for a while in the heat, checking out all the stars on the walk, looking at a few bookstores selling movie scripts, and munching a bit of pizza. Encountered my first pay toilet in perhaps 20 years at the McDonald's. The only bathroom I saw in the entire area so I guess they need a way to keep people out.

Finally returned to my car around 5pm and made my way out of the city. Glad to say I went here, but after this I felt like sticking to natural tourist attractions and leave the cities to other folk.

Got a little dyslexic on the way out of LA and mistook Highway 101 for 110 and ended up going about an hour NW when I wanted to be going NE. Story of my life on the road, always getting lost! My planned destination for the night was one of the many campgrounds in the San Gabriel Mountains. My wrong choice put me behind schedule once again and it became obvious that (once again) I was not going to show up at the campground until after dark. I decided to belated prepare for some improved campground stays anyway and bought myself a battery powered lantern along with a cooler full of ice and a few goodies. "Even if I show up after dark, I'll still try and make the best of it," I thought.

But despite the cool evening, the car began to overheat again as I climbed up into the mountains. At this point I realized that something was seriously wrong with my car. (I suppose it should have been obvious long before but I'm a little naive when it comes to cars.) For a while I considered backtracking to the last town (called La Canada of all things) and stay at a motel for the night but stubbornness got the best of me and after a couple cool down breaks, I continued on up into the mountains. Finally made it to a campground a little after eleven. I expected the place to be closed up for the night, but instead the place was completely vacant. Not a soul in sight. This made me a little concerned, but I drove in, found a good spot, and settled in for the night, hoping I wouldn't encounter any crazed psychos. I shoved the cooler into the front seat, locked the doors, and drifted off. (And yes, I felt as tired as I looked in the shot on the left.)
on to Day Six...

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