A Standard Valley Ride

So I live in ‘the valley’. That part east of Los Angeles that is known for ‘valley girls’, strip malls and insufferably hot summers.

I actually like it. I’ve lived all over LA and have found The Valley to be OK. Today I did a ride I used to do quite regularly but while I encountered some familiar things, there were some big changes.

Of course, I got zero pictures of anything of interest and only a few landscape views. So I expect everyone to gloss over this post and I’ll just write it for myself.

In no particular order:

  • Homeless encampments – wow. I know we have a big homeless problem here but I passed by a large caravan, complete with loud junkie being loud. I was biking on a Sunday in an industrial area, so it was pretty much just me and the homeless.
  • Bird Watcher – 5 minutes after biking by the homeless encampment, I came across an industrial bog that still had water in it (L.A. has had actual rain the past few months and actual standing bodies of water). And there, on the other side of the chain link, razor wire fence, was a birder. Looking at some birds with their binoculars. I glanced and saw some ducks.
  • The Dam – I got up to Hansen Dam, which is in a place called Sun Valley. Not a ‘good’ neighborhood, but always has adorable families puttering on it. The views were beautiful – hard to believe I just passed the industrial wasteland lined with junkies and broken glass.
  • Vaquero – I’m used to horse back riders around the dam, but this is the first time I’ve seen a full on Vaquero (Mexican “cowboy”). Beautiful saddle. Beautiful horse. Beautiful details. I was in awe. I wish I took a picture. Here is a non representative example:
  • White (herons? Egrets?) – The Dam area had major fires the past year and now has actual standing water. I saw a dead, burnt husk of a tree covered in white dot. Then one of those white dots started flying off. I realized all the white dots were beautiful birds. I’m going to try to go trail riding there next week and get better pics. I stopped trail riding down there because people… live… in there… and I got afraid but I’ll brave it for the birds.
  • Props – Sun Valley is right next to Burbank, the ‘Media Capitol of the World’. But way cheaper real estate. So it’s where all the movie houses store their props. Two GIANT FISTS, maybe 15-20 feet tall… one covered in ‘blood’. Huh. Good ol prop houses.

It’s always something when you live in the valley!

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