With 10 miles of uninterrupted beaches, exciting attractions and world-class surfing, Huntington Beach, defines Southern California beach living. The city features the most consistent waves on the West Coast, an attribute that helped the city receive the nickname, Surf City USA. This city is a place where the casual and chill California beach culture not only exists, but also is a staple of the community. Amid the tourist bustle in the biggest beach city in Orange County, hometown personalities and their stories are everywhere.
It’s the “Most Wanted” family member, whose picture shows up in the social media post. It’s the Goth child with spiked hair, multiple body piercings, and cringe-worthy body modifications. It’s the gay uncle, who brings his younger boyfriend to the family New Year’s party, and is “all over him” to the point you need to tell them to “get a room!” It’s the addict who comes to the family reunion drunk and staggers around, spilling his or her drink on the guests…
Think of the Sky Island Scenic Parkway, as a kind of time machine. No, really. Let yourself go a minute and imagine a landscape that compresses an extraordinary range of topography into one 30-mile stretch of road. The road, known as the Mount Lemmon Parkway, does just that. It takes visitors through five life zones, from Sonoran Desert lowlands all the way up to a mixed-conifer forest, the geographic equivalent of traveling from Mexico to Canada.
Commanding the skyline above Finger Rock Canyon in the Santa Catalina Mountains is an eponymous stone pinnacle, that resembles a clenched fist with its index finger pointing toward the heavens. This is your first clue to the nature of the trail, that makes an aggressive, unrelenting ascent of its rugged domain.
I was eager to know more about desert habitat, after a hike I attempted in Tucson. (Read about that hike here.) There are plenty of things you should know before hiking in the desert, especially if you’re not accustomed to the climate and the surroundings. I hail from the east coast, where hiking is one hundred percent different than hiking on the west coast. After my ‘hike gone wrong’ I sought out the best place to learn about the desert, and came across the Sonora Desert Museum.
Virgil Earp, the town marshal, enlists Wyatt and Morgan Earp, and Doc Holliday. As they walk down Freemont Street on the way to the O.K. Corral, Virgil hands Doc his shotgun in exchange for Doc’s cane. Doc wears a long overcoat and conceals the shotgun underneath it, as not to frighten the townspeople. In the tense moment that followed, Morgan and Doc cock their guns. Suddenly, Billy Claiborne, who stands away from the area, bolts and runs. Ike grapples with Wyatt, who was about to pistol-whip him. The tension explodes and the fight begins.
Deep in the heart of Southern York County, Pennsylvania, lies a strange area commonly known as Spring Valley County Park. What’s so scary about a County Park? Nothing really, except the fact that this land encompasses an area famously known as Rehymeyer’s Hollow or Hex Hollow. Rehmeyer’s Hollow, is located in Central Pennsylvania, near the Maryland border. The area was brought to national attention by a murder, that occurred there in 1928. There have been numerous books written about the area, including a 1988 film called “Apprentice to Murder” starring the great Donald Pleasance. I recommend the film, though it’s difficult to find. A new film called, Hex Hollow: Witchcraft and Murder in Pennsylvania was recently released in 2015.
It’s known as the “Dripping Cave,” for the way the sedimentary rock seems to drip from the ceiling, and also as the “Robber’s Cave,” as it once lent its shelter to a band of outlaws, who used the cave as a “home base” from which to rob the stagecoach line passing between Los Angeles and San Diego, during the 1800’s. The historic landmark is the park’s largest rock-shelter.