Dear Santa (Monica Mountains)

22 Dec

Malibu Creek State Park

Dear Santa Monica Mountains,

When I found out I was going to come hang out with you I wasn’t sure what to expect.

Like my trip to Idaho, I went in with a lot of preconceived notions of what you were going to be like. Most of the rumors about you involved more of those multi-million-dollar mansions, celebrity sightings, smog, and suburban sprawl.

View from Yerba Buena

Ok, they were kind of correct on all of those points, but they didn’t tell me that you are so much more than that. Nestled in between the housing developments, and upscale strip malls is a mosaic where the land is left more or less to itself. Those parts are stunningly gorgeous. No wonder so many people want to live near you.

The poorly-named Sandstone Peak

I tried to understand you more by reading your past in the landscape around me. I thought I knew your geologic story from a quick glance around, but boy was I wrong. (Note to self; even though it looks kinda like sandstone, and the map backs you up by calling the mountain you’re standing on Sandstone Peak, it does not mean it is sandstone. That was a humbling experience.)

And yet there were other parts of you that seemed oddly familiar:

M*A*S*H site, Malibu Creek State Park

Maybe I like you because you remind me a bit of the national recreation area I grew up in. You’re not wild and remote. You’re not full of things that are the highest, biggest, longest, or whatever-est. But you’re beautiful all the same.

Sunset over Sandstone Peak

I can’t wait to see you again!



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