Monday, September 22, 2008

Journey beyond the edge of the Earth...

...as I finally managed to make it down to the classified location where my friend Juan (a/k/a "Senor Hospitality") lives. Knowing he is notoriously shy about revealing his whereabouts, I took his directions with the proverbial grain of salt, and cross-checked them with MapQuest.

Their directions seemed even more dubious ("take Forest Service Road 39TJ05...") so I relied on his litany of strange signs, mile markers, pavement changes, end of pavement/start of dirt road, etc., and drove South.

I thought I had gone too far when I started seeing beat-up vintage Dodge vans with Mexican license plates, but realized I had only been on the road for 10 minutes and was still heading toward downtown Los Angeles....

Eventually -- "eventually" being roughly 2 1/2 hours later -- I made it to his pad, which seemed to still be in the same time zone. While small, it's a wonderful place with a view that would command Big Bucks in any accessible place.

After coffee, we toured the neighborhood via a maze of dirt roads. I didn't take any photos, since it reminded me of a desert town I once visited -- the colleague who accompanied me there looked around and said: "it's so quiet that I can hear people cocking their AK-47s!" -- and I was concerned about violating security rules for the trip....

But the scenery was great and it was, despite the presence of some hungry- (and deadly-) looking dogs, nicely pastoral...



I wondered if I had traveled too far and had somehow made it all the way to the Andes when this curious llama ambled up to the fence...



In time, "Juan's" famous "TourMobile" carried us to a wide spot in the road where we stopped for beverages and Trail Mix...



All in all, a fine afternoon. We talked about all sorts of things that interested us, decided the world's problems didn't need to be addressed or settled today, had a few laughs and never got into an argument. Using readily-available vegetable components picked up at a roadside stand, he made us a snack which was quite tasty and filling. An excellent host!

In time, I had to leave, and did so, reluctantly. Never told him that the impending darkness had me in fear that the chupacabras might emerge from their caves. On the way out, I did manage a surreptitious snap of his bunker, carefully cropped here to remove all location-identifying marks...



A most enjoyable day. I'm looking forward to going back. Soon.

And now that I'm reasonably certain the rumors of cannibalism among the denizens of his neighborhood are most likely unfounded, I'm hoping I can bring someone with me. "Juan" is the kind of guy you want to introduce to your best friends.

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

Sounds good from Greenland.

Kelly said...

great photos as always!

Anonymous said...

Sounds like he has a pretty good thing going there. A "simple" lifestyle can be very good, huh?

S

Anonymous said...

I am glad you got out and enjoyed the day.
Roz

Birdie said...

when i had to privilege to visit his abode, he picked me up and drove me there. I don't think I could ever find it on my own (and no, he didn't blindfold me! lol).

I agree, a lovely place... and beautiful countryside.

John0 said...

Thanks for the visit.

DAL said...

Damn. I wish you guys weren't so far out. I mean, so far away, yeah, that's it...

MrScribbler said...

dal -- You got it right the first time, bro.

jsniffer said...

well, at least you saw a white horse. that's big.

betty said...

Next time you see him give him a hug from me and a handshake from Paul. :)

joan said...

I love reading about these meet ups. Sounds like you two had a good time!

ben said...

Quaint - serene - nice.

Anonymous said...

Oh, how GREAT that you got to meet Juan too! He is so interesting and can tell a damn good story. As can you, too!

Anonymous said...

It is good to visit like that! I admire him for just getting up and going...smiles!

Lou