I’m back! Rested, restored, tanned, toned, snappy, happy, and ready to coast into my next year. Thanks to everyone for sticking around for the fun. The future’s so bright…
While driving home from Colorado we veered slightly off the 15 and stumbled upon the adventure wonderland that is Zion National Park. I had driven through the area several times a decade before and thought for certain I’d been to Zion when I visited nearby Bryce Canyon, but once we descended into the roping waves of sandstone at the park’s eastern entrance, I realized I had never been to this magical place.
We booked a place to stay completely last-minute and were lucky enough to nab one of the adorable cabins built in 1927 at the Zion Lodge, which I highly recommend as it’s inside the park so you can start hikes right outside your front door (aided with the help of a free shuttle service up and down the canyon). One of those hikes, Angels Landing, was perhaps the most incredible five miles I’ve ever walked in my life.
The hike starts innocently enough, switchbacking up a canyon wall and through a notch in the pink-and-white checkerboard rock. After a few more switchbacks you start to realize that those are people you’re seeing scrambling up that orange monolith before you. Yep, you’re climbing that. The hike goes all the way to the top, on a trail that is often nothing more than chain ropes and abstract stairs carved into the sheer rock face.
There’s a virtual experience online but it really doesn’t compare to the dizzying sensation of ambling atop the summit and looking back at where you’ve just hike-climbed (not for anyone who is afraid of heights). The best part? We finished the hike at noon and were back in LA for dinner. Angels Landing is just a hop, skip, and a (very surefooted) jump from Los Angeles.
We get the New York Times delivered to our doorstep every Sunday, but it was not so easy to track down a copy in Crested Butte, Colorado earlier this week. Around 9:00 a.m. I went to the place where they sell it, only to learn that it hadn’t yet made its way up the Gunnison Valley. “It’s usually here by now,” said the woman at the grocery store. ”I haven’t seen the guy who brings it.” Which in a mountain town means there was a REALLY good party the night before.
Two hours later the stacks of papers rumbled up Elk Street, and you know what? All that waiting was totally worth it. When I finally had it in my hands, I got butterflies. I’ve seen my name in print plenty of times, of course, but nothing matches the feeling of seeing myself referred to as Ms. Walker.
I was so flattered to be interviewed as one of “Hollywood’s New Stars: Pedestrians” in this excellent story about walking in LA by David Hochman. As you know I’m just a TEENSY BIT sensitive to the way LA is portrayed by certain media outlets. But what I really appreciated about David’s article was the way that he was able to touch upon some fresh ideas with original reporting that didn’t just recant the same-old silly stereotypes. The people he picked to interview talk about walking in ways that move beyond the obvious health aspects; as a form of therapy, a creative outlet, a place to find new ideas and the fastest way to turn your life around when, inexplicably, you’ve found yourself feeling lonely in a city of millions. I’m proud to count myself in that group. And I’ve gotten so many great emails from people who have shared their stories about walking, from all around the world. We have a lot of work to do in LA, but seeing this article and the response from it locally has made me feel more optimistic than ever about the power of feet. Preferably wearing neon coral sandals. (David’s eye for detail is unmatched.)
Enough excitement for one Sunday, right? Unbelievably, it got better. On the very next page, there was a story I wrote about the adorable Ellen Bennett, who makes stylish and durable aprons for chefs and other creatives like potters, barbers and tattoo artists right here in LA. That story was shot by the awesome Laure Joliet. I have a feeling someone in layout at the Style section has a great sense of humor. Or they just can’t resist all the sweet vibes from people making things happen out here in Los Angeles.
I’m heading off on a few adventures—judging the Sappi Ideas That Matter awards, catching up with family, and road-tripping through the western third of the country—so posting will be slow or nonexistent for a spell. Enjoy your summer!