By Ken Syme
2,251 miles – the distance I’ve traveled in the three weeks since I came out to Los Angeles. Tomorrow begins the fourth week of the LA program, including the orientation week, which means that I’ve now spent nearly a month on the West Coast. As someone who was born and bred on the East Coast, I’ve been trying to take full advantage of the great weather and unique opportunities the West Coast offers. I have been travelling as much as possible around California with other students on the program (most frequently with Ian Brooks, who will surely have a much more exciting blog post when he posts later in the semester). So far this semester we went climbing, hiking and swimming in the “Deadly River” in the Sequoia National Forest, and stood a few feet away from a full-grown black bear. Shortly thereafter We journeyed down to San Diego and I got to take a “Sealfie” with a pod of seals sunning themselves on the rocks (I know, my pun is really clever). The following weekend we snuck into and explored the sunken city of San Pedro and then went directly to the Joshua Tree National park, where we bouldered to the top of the highest rock formation in the park. To cap off the weekend we drove 160 miles to the Anzo Borrego desert where we hiked six miles in 114 degree heat and climbed through the massive canyons by the side of the road. We walked the pier in Santa Monica, relaxed on the beach and attempted (and failed) to tackle the intimidating muscle beach fitness structures. This past weekend we ventured to the highest peak of the Devil’s Punchbowl, where we could enjoy the picturesque smog covering LA from the Griffith Observatory, and climbed through the cave of Munits up to the highest peak in the El Scorpion Park. In my spare time I’ve also been going to classes and working.