I was on the road today before 9am, heading out of the city to go visit my friend Judie. Judie lives in the mountains about 45 minutes northeast of town, and it’s beautiful up there.
I love going up to Judie’s, because she has a few acres, and a lot of animals. We’ll start with a Before and Current Photo Comparison, because I found a photo from a few years ago that’s perfect for this sort of thing.
This photo is from 2007, when Judie first rescued Cleo, a German Shepherd puppy:
Cleo was adorable as a puppy, and now she’s all grown up and still pretty freakin’ cute. Here’s a photo from today – with Cleo on the left, and Cassie, another German Shepherd, on the right:
But that’s not all – Judie also has two horses, Lacey and Sandy. Here’s me and Lacey:
Judie also has llamas. Llots and llots of llamas. I think she’s up to 11 or 12? Let’s see if I can figure this out:
When I first met Judie 7 years ago, she had just gotten 5 llamas: 3 girls (Chamesa, Oreo, and Cookie) and 2 boys (Jesse and James). Jesse ended up going to live somewhere else, leaving 4 llamas. Then James knocked up all three of the ladies, and a year later (there’s a year-long gestation period), the herd had three new additions: Melody (a girl), Billy (a boy), and Harmony, who everyone thought was a girl for a year, but was actually a boy (llamas are shaggy down there, it can be hard to tell).
That’s 7 llamas. But the procreating didn’t stop. James and all the ladies got busy again, and soon all three were with child again. A year later, Judie welcomed Daisy (a girl), Bugs (a boy), and Bandit (a boy). 10 llamas. Judie finally separated the boys from the girls, but not before James had his way with Melody, who, a year later, gave birth to Millie (a girl). Millie is the 11th llama, and Melody should star in the next season of MTV’s “Teen Mom.”
Anyway – Millie is a sweetheart. Here’s me and Millie:
And here I am, nose to nose with Billy:
And for everyone that hasn’t seen a llama up close:
Judie and I also took a long drive into the Antelope Valley, going through towns I had barely heard of before, like Pearblossom, Llano, and Littlerock. There’s not much up there, except miles and miles of desert in every direction, but it’s always had an appeal: British author Aldous Huxley, best known for Brave New World, lived in Llano for a while, and we also drove by the ruins of a socialist compound that flourished from 1915-1918, until the 60 or so families living there got fed up with the intermittent water supply (the compound was near a river, but it was dry for most of the time) and moved to Louisiana.
Then we headed back to Judie’s neck of the woods and had lunch at a cute little place called Sweetwater Cafe – I had a great salad with spinach, mushrooms, scallion, hard boiled egg, tomato, and a grilled chicken breast, with a little blue cheese dressing on the side.
After lunch we went to Vasquez Rocks, a big park. We originally intended to go hiking in Vasquez Rocks, but we were both tired and didn’t feel up for it, so we did the next best thing – drove around a little bit and took some cool photos. Me and some rocks:
Judie and some other rocks:
Me and Judie and some rocks:
These rock formations are all over the place at Vasquez Rocks, and because it’s less than an hour away from Hollywood, the area has been used as a filming location for movies and TV pretty since much since film has been invented. Tons of westerns have been filmed there, and also a lot of science fiction – actually, one of the more prominent rock formations is called James T. Kirk Rock, because it was used in a number of different “Star Trek” episodes in the ’60s, representing a different planet in each one. In the ’90s, the entire town of Bedrock was built in Vasquez Rocks for the live-action movie version of “The Flintstones”.
Because I didn’t go hiking, this day will likely end with me not doing any exercise, but I’m not fretting over it. I worked out the last 6 days in a row, so I’m due for a day off.
Keep it up, David!