Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Photo Essay: Landing on Another Planet, An Hour Outside of LA


You don't have to go far from LA in order to leave this planet.

I mean, sure, we are surrounded by the intellectual exploration of the skies and of space – from Mt. Wilson Observatory to the Jet Propulsion Laboratory – but I mean actually walk on terrain that's other-worldly enough to make you think you've been transported to another planet.



Just go to Vasquez Rocks.



After all, it was interplanetary enough for Star Trek to use it to depict several different planets.



The jagged rock formations – pushed up by activity along the San Andreas Fault –



...have also provided shelter for notorious bandits in real life...




...and have masqueraded as Tibet, India, the Old West...



...and, of course, Bedrock (for the live-action movie version of The Flintstones).



Although people do hike there...



...it's a good spot for a meander...



...where it's difficult to get lost...



...and there's lots to see along the various pathways...



...including the easy and scenic Geology Trail.



In the spring, you'll even find some wildflowers there...



...though the arid landscape and craggy terrain is more reminiscent of the Mojave Desert to the north...



...than to the Angeles National Forest to the south.



However, when most people arrive to Vasquez Rocks, they do not walk –



...they climb.



The peaks beckon...



...and their scrambling limbs disappear among them.

 I stand below, on solid ground, listening for screams of terror and calls for help, scanning the geology for tumbling bodies and any other signs of those in need of rescue.

But those that can climb, do.

And those that can't, observe and document.

Related Posts:
Photo Essay: Garden of the Gods
Photo Essay: Stoney Point, at the Santa Susana Pass
Photo Essay: Red Rock Canyon, Mojave Desert
Photo Essay: Another Red Rock
Photo Essay: Painted Rocks at Fort Irwin