Just off the Pacific Coast Highway, between Pepperdine University and Point Dume, Solstice Canyon, is an unusually scenic hike to the ruins of a once-grand private estate.
In 1952, “supermarket magnate” Fred Roberts and his wife Florence commissioned an architect to design a modern home for them at their family ranch at Solstice Canyon in Malibu. Fred had begun buying land in the area in the 1930s, eventually amassing almost 1000 acres.
“Energy rightly applied and directed will accomplish anything.”
I get asked on a daily basis WHY am I traveling solo.
“Who are you here with?” curious people often ask when we become acquainted during my travels.
“Um, by myself,” I reply.
“Wow, that’s really courageous!” they exclaim, wide-eyed.
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.
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.
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.
I’m willing to bet that most of you out there have asked yourself, “How can I travel when I don’t have much money?” or, “How can I travel if I have kids?” or maybe your biggest fear isn’t how will you make money on the road, but what would your family and friends think of you if you went on the road?
Chances are these very thoughts have indeed crossed your mind (they cross all of our minds at some point!) and there’s also a chance you haven’t found any answers. As a result, you’ve still yet to take that first step, and start traveling, and as time passes by, you start to wonder if you’ll ever see and experience any other place other than your hometown. Many of you though, live by the “What ifs?” instead of the “Why nots?” Before you know it, ten years goes by and you’re suddenly in your late thirties, wondering, “What the fuck happened?”
If you visit north Georgia, you can’t miss Tallulah Gorge, a stunning and popular geologic landmark, and the namesake of this gorgeous state park. Nestled in the Appalachian Mountains with an average of 300,000 visitors a year, less than 10% of the US population has had the pleasure of viewing these breathtaking views. Spanning two miles in length, the Tallulah Gorge carves 1,000 feet deep into sheer rock walls thanks to the turbulent flow of the Tallulah River. This same river is responsible for the majestic Tallulah Falls, made up of six cascading waterfalls dropping 500 feet over one mile, which cradle the Georgia-South Carolina state line.
Just off one of my favorite roads, Hwy 441, you’ll find the old Apalachee School House. The now ghost town was named for the Apalachee River, that flows nearby. The town used to have a depot and a Post Office. The Post Office was closed in the 1950s. Apalachee is now a rural area north of Madison, Georgia.
This is a place with a rich and colorful history. I’m talking about one of those truly Southern Places, shaped by Native American, African and European influences. The ruins sit in a complex ecosystem alongside a major river, that once fed a good-sized little town, a successful textile industry, agriculture, the exchanges of commerce and a decidedly unique public citizenry.