After the Grand Canyon, I continued on to Los Angeles. I took the shuttle from Williams to the clearing in the woods where the train would pick us up.
On the shuttle, I was accompanied by a group of British tourists. One of them, an old timber merchant, remarked to me that things were much easier for young people when he was young than they are for young people today. I told him that he was probably the first person I had ever heard say that, and he replied that he was probably the first to admit it. Personally, I would disagree with him. Though there may be fewer traditional jobs available, there’s a ton of opportunity for those who seek it out.
Upon arriving in Los Angeles, I noticed that the commuters were using much better headphones than you would normally see on the subway. People weren’t using your typical Skullcandy or Apple headphones; people were using respectable cans like Sennheiser PX200s.
Eventually I arrived at the Hollywood/Vine subway station, the ceiling of which was completely covered with old film reels. I exited the station onto Hollywood Blvd. and walked to the “Banana Bungalow” hostel.
I checked into the hostel, enjoyed a free breakfast, and set off to explore Hollywood. I saw the office of Bernie Grundman, the recording engineer behind a number of notable albums.
I walked up Hollywood Boulevard and down Sunset Boulevard, taking in the sights and sounds as I went. I entered an Army/Navy surplus store and found an old man nervously heralding the imminence of the Apocalypse.
Later I went into downtown Los Angeles and walked around for a bit. I checked out the library and watched the sunset in a park. I discovered an incredible store, the “99 Cent Only Store”. I purchased some chewing gum and a bottle of shampoo, each for 99 cents. Sadly, the gum tasted like metal and the shampoo produces almost no lather. It was a great deal nevertheless!
The next morning, I went back into downtown Los Angeles. Right in the middle of everything, Red Bull was sponsoring the soapbox derby.
It was quite a sight. The contestants dressed up in hilarious costumes - for example, one team was The Dukes of Hazzard and another was dressed up like Angry Birds. After a quick skit, the teams hopped in their soapbox cars and raced down the track, which had jumps and a banked turn. One team which had neglected to install brakes on the car was going so fast when they hit the banked turn that they flew straight off the edge!
After that I went back to the hostel to find that they were serving free food and drink in the “Tiki Garden”. It makes no sense that a $20/night hostel gives you free breakfast, free internet, and free parties while upscale hotels charge you $20/night just for internet.
The party lasted all day, complete with a DJ, pong, ping-pong, foosball, and basketball, along with a jam band later in the evening. Lots of fun.
The next morning I set off for Seattle on the Coast Starlight.