Rustic Canyon Nazi Camp – Winona Stephens Complex

This past weekend Constantine and I explored a few different areas of abandoned LA. First we went to the Griffith Park Old LA Zoo. On Sunday we went to the Rustic Canyon Nazi Camp up in Pacific Palisades.

In the early 1930’s Winona Stephens, a heir to a mining fortune created the Murphy Ranch on 50 secluded acres near what is now Topanga State Park. The person in charge of building all this was a Nazi spy named Schmidt. Herr Schmidt persuaded Stephens to invest more than $4 million to create a self-supporting community where a chosen few would live until the day anarchy fell on the United States after a presumed Nazi victory over England.

By 1940, they had built a garage with living quarters overhead, a huge concrete water tank, a diesel fuel tank and a dual-generator power station. Stephens, Schmidt and 50 other future master racers lived on the site, cultivating a vegetable garden and waiting for the New World Order. Guards stood at the gates, and the sounds of military drills often rang through the canyon.

The day after the United States entered World War II, Schmidt was arrested by the FBI and the community soon began to disintegrate. Now the buildings lie in ruins, littered with the remains of bonfires and plastered with graffiti, including swastikas. The canyon walls above are cut by four staircases of crumbling, treacherous concrete.

To get to Murphy Ranch, park at the corner of Capri road and Casale. Hike down the dirt/paved fire road which can been seen google maps here. You wil have to go around a gate to Camp Josepho.

The main gate to the complex is about a mile up the road from where the fire road starts, however if you keep an eye out you will see a set of stairs heading down into the canyon about 7tenths of a mile from the start. You can either take these or continue on to the main gate. You can easily walk around the gate and follow the road down behind. About .2 mile down the road will split. You can take either direction to get to the camp. We went to the left which lead to the main pumping/power station and an old garage/house.

You can still see many of the flowers and trees which were planted by the group back in the days. They continue to bloom on their own each year. It really is pretty amazing how well this is all being preserved even though it’s open to the elements and human destruction. The power plant is COVERED in graffiti, and the pits where pumps were once housed are now home to mounds and mounds of trash and empty beer cans.

Someone has even gone to the trouble of creating an artistic sculpture out of a bunch of old trash and building parts. Continue following the small trail past the old garage and once it ends, follow the river for a while. You will come across a very well preserved building which is enclosed in fencing. Here you will find the other end of the main gate’s road. You can either take this back up or continue to explore.

We didn’t have any more time once we got here, so we headed back up the road. But you can be sure that I will be back there soon to finish exploring this huge Nazi complex!

You can download or tracks for Google Earth here, and see just how easy it is to see. This is easily a 3 mile hike, but you could make it much much more. Take your time and enjoy it. We even saw a few people having a picnic down there!

Our pictures of the Rustic Canyon Nazi Camp are here. Or you can view the GoogleEarth GeoTagged photos here. Lastly you can view the other hard data from the weekend here.

Here’s some more references:
Nazi Commune Ruins
Rustic Canyon Local Hikes
I Hate Illinois Nazis

Old LA Zoo – Griffith Park

This past weekend, Constantine and I set out to go exploring a few different abandoned areas of Los Angeles, we started out with the one we thought would be the easiest to find and sure enough it was.

The Old LA Zoo first opened in Griffith Park in 1913, the zoo didn’t do very good and had many animal escapes and was poorly funded, during world war I many of the animals died due to food rationing. In 1965, the zoo was moved to it’s present location just south of where this one is located. This past year during the Griffith park fires, the old zoo was nearly destroyed, thankfully it survived the fires and is still amazingly well kept.

We headed up the I-5 early Saturday morning and got off at the first Griffith park exit and parked in the Merry-Go-Round parking lot. Head back across the street and up the road (away from the merry-go-round). Here you will find a trail that heads to the right along the ridge and through some trees. Go up the trail just a little ways and you will find the first group of buildings. It’s really very easy to get too. This is the back side of what appeared to be the Lion cages. There were plenty of holes in the fence that you can get through to climb around. In fact the day we were there there was some group filming a movie, which included a large fake tiger!

We continued to hike around for a while and found a few different ways to get there. In fact if you don’t want to go through the hiking part, you can actually get to the front of the zoo by going around the Merry-Go-Round to the right of the parking lot and then just follow the larger parking lot to the left.

You can download or tracks for Google Earth here, and see just how easy it is to see. You could easily spend 30 minutes or a few hours exploring this old compound and the areas around it.

Our pictures of the Old LA Zoo are here. Or you can view the GoogleEarth GeoTagged photos here. Lastly you can view the other hard data from the weekend here.

Here’s some more references:
Marilyn Carolyn
Boing Boing
Zoo Zoo Zoo

On the way home we saw this cute little PokeMan bug… Crazy LA people:

(Notice the mini one on the dashboard!)

A LONG Weekend!

Oh my god… This weekend, I DROVE… All over hell. Over 450 miles this weekend alone. What craziness.

So Friday, I got home from work and headed up to Santa Monica to hang out with this guy Dan. Who had an amazing DVD/CD collection. I went through all his DVD’s and that took about an hour. We ended up watching Vacation. I had a good time. I went home after that and went to bed.

Got up Saturday morning and went and washed my car. I’ve got this Astroturf in my bathroom under the cat litter. It’s been a while since I last cleaned it good, so I took it to the car wash with me and spent like 2 whole minutes trying to wash it out completely. I thought I got it pretty clean and then just threw it in my trunk and drove home. Took it out as soon as I got there and found out that there was a LOT more water left in it then I thought, so there was a ton of NASTY smelling water all over my trunk! I tried to clean it all up but my car smells SOOO bad now! 🙁 I took out all the carpeting and shit from the trunk Sunday night so that helped some.

After that disaster, I headed out on my road trip to check out some nice wonderful trucks…

The first one was a 1956 F250. It’s a good body and good looking truck, but needs a lot of interior work done to it. New handles, new carpet, work to the dash, needs a new bed, etc. Lots of over spray from a previous paint job that hadn’t been corrected. It also had a LOT of oil on the transmission, etc. Not sure how normal that is, but it was a little concerning. The guy selling it was HOT and I thought I was getting a little gay vibe from him. But probably not. I got a lot of great information out of him and I think no matter what truck I buy, he could be a good resource for the future.

Second was a 1954 Ford F100. Great looking truck. The guy said he hadn’t driven it in a year though. It had leaked basically all it’s transmission fluid, we got in and it started right up. Took it out on a test drive… We’re driving down the street and this truck pulls out in front of us. Slam on the breaks and they go straight to the floor.. THERE’S NO BRAKES! OMG! Grab the emergency break to stop it… SCARY! The truck has no rust, and it’s nice and complete truck. All new interior, etc. One issue is that the guy said the previous owners rebuilt the engine and then it sat for 6 years. So he’s not sure how many miles, are on the engine and since it sat so long the seals, etc could be a bit dry/etc. He said he’d take $1k off the price to get the brakes fixed (Probably just need to be bleed out)

The third was the same guy, it was a Studebaker. Nice looking yellow truck, but needs more work then I’d be willing to put into it.

The fourth was a 1956 F100. This one was a real POS. Needs TONS of work. I took one look at it and said no thanks! What a mess.

The last one is the best and of course the most expensive! A 1955 F100. Everything is all new, GREAT paint job (although not an original color which is a little annoying), great new interior (and also the only one with seat belts) and drove great. The only concern I had was that the steering was a little lose. He said it probably just needed to be adjusted. He’d already come down from $18k, so I’m not sure there’s much wiggle room for price.

Saturday night I stayed home and watched Can’t Hardly Wait. Very interesting movie with lots of hot boys!

Sunday I got up early and headed up to Hollywood to meet up with Ran and Enver. We went out on a short little 15 mile ride. It was really good to see them again since the Lifecycle ride. They’re very great people. The ride was very pretty. We went up into the valley and around Griffith park and WB studios.

Came home and showered real quick and then the neighbor and I headed up to Port Hueneme, CA. It was a great little town. The neighbor is looking at buying a house/condo up there so we looked at a few of those. I went up with her to check out one more truck this weekend. A 1956 F100 Panel Truck. This was by far one of the most interesting trucks I saw this weekend. The guy who owns it sounded like a real ass on the phone, but ended up being pretty nice. The engine is pretty much unknown to him, but it was his daily driver for many years so it’s probably about ready for a rebuild/etc. It would also need a lot of interior work. New side wall coverings, etc. It’s a VERY interesting truck though which is nice. And the guy is apparently desperate for cash. He was willing to take $3k off the price right there.

We headed up to Ventura after that and ate at this random place called “I Love Sushi”. And boy, do I love the sushi there. I highly suggest getting the “In & Out Roll” very good! So if you’re ever in Ventura, Ca. I highly suggest you go there.

Got home about 8, had just enough time to read my emails from the day and then went to bed. It was another morning of getting up at 3:30am and dealing with stupid people at the HD!

On the way into the office, I heard this song on the radio called “Dear Mr. President” by Pink. Apparently it was released forever ago. But I’ve never heard it before and if you haven’t. I suggest going and checking it out.

I also found this very interesting Wold Clock on digg the other day. This clock has stats collected from all over the world, showing population, prison growth, births, US illegal immigrations, divorces, species extinct, forests lost, barrels of oil, and LOADS more, including in depth death stats. Highly interesting.


Fires, Fires EVERYWHERE! – Griffith and Catalina!

Jokes: 1973 vs. 2007

My my my.. This week has been busy!

First off, I had this HUGE project at work just kinda dropped in on Monday. Pretty much everyone in the office was working on it in one way or another. Thankfully my part kept getting dwindled down because other aspects of the programming we’re taking over stuff that I was going to have to work on. So by the end of the week my part was actually pretty simple. But it still took tons of time to do. Next week we start the testing. Hopefully that all goes well.

On top of that, I went out EVERY NIGHT this week! OMG.

Monday Ben met up with me at my place. I had planned on us going to HT grill and then to Sirin’s performance, but he didn’t get there till late so we just headed straight over to the play. It was pretty good. Not exactly what I had planned. It was just 6 short stories basically each one was just one or two actors. But it was really funny. She did this GREAT southern accent!

Tuesday I headed up to Ben’s about 5 and found a GREAT new way to get there that’s so much faster then the 405 during rush hour traffic. The only problem is that ONE idiot driving 15mph could really fuck things up. So I got there really early because of the new route. We hung out for a while and then headed to Hollywood. Again we were there about an hour early so we went to get coffee and had a nice talk. After that we saw Jon McLaughlin. Who is just AMAZING! I highly suggest you do purchase his newest Album on iTunes!! We stood right next to the stage and it was great!

Plus he’s really hot:

Jon McLaughlinJon McLaughlin

We also saw Jon Voight there. I had no idea who he was when Ben said his name, but once I actually saw him I knew exactly who he was! Crazyness.

There were also HUGE fires in Griffith park that night. You can check out the Griffith Fire pics at my photodump. However, just like the last fire, I couldn’t get to the fire to take pics, so these are just a collection from other people. It really ruined the nice clear days we’ve been having around here lately. But the sunset was very pretty because of it.

Wed night we headed back up to WeHo for BINGO at H Mary’s. It was tons of fun and I won a game! 🙂 I got a Desperate Housewives gift set thing. It even included a Poker set that was only given to the cast of the show!! Too bad I really don’t like that show. If only Andrew talked to me, I’d give it to him. But since he clearly doesn’t, I’ll be selling it on Ebay.

Thursday I went out on a lunch time ride with Nick. That was fun.. It was a quick 12 miles we did in about 45 minutes.

After that I met up with my Realtor again and we looked at a few places. She’s such a stupid bitch. She had no idea where she was going and what not. We spent a ton of time just trying to find them once we got into the complexes as well. One of them has potential. But the rest were crap. Too many dirty nasties living there. My guess is that people own the condos and then rent them out to whoever. Erick came over later that night and we hung out ant talked and watched Scrubs. Fun times.

On another topic for the moment. I was browsing my friends myspace pages the other day because I was bored. I usually don’t do this very much. I just read messages people send me and search for hot boys I meet IRL. Either way. I noticed that Jason’s top 8 contains Ben… Now, normally this wouldn’t really matter. But WTF? Ok, so Jason and Ben only know each other because of ME! Jason has known Ben almost 3 months. I have known Jason for nearly a year. Ben has met many of Jason’s friends. I have yet to meet a single one of them. And now Ben is in Jason’s top 8 and I am not?! WTF! Grrr.

Also on Thursday fire broke out on Catalina island! There have been fires all over the LA area this week. It’s been crazy and horrible for the air quality. Although sunsets/rises have just been breath taking all week. Be sure to check out the pics on the photo dump of the fires and of the sunsets/rises!.

Tonight I am heading up to Hollywood with Ben. Yet again! Tonight is the BIG SHOW for Charles Phoenix. It should be really fun. If only we were still dating it’d be a million times better! Cooking, under the stars and a picnic! What boy wouldn’t want me after planning things like this! Apparently most of them!

Ok. Well it’s time for me to go home!!!


So this weekend has been pretty busy. Saturday I got up at 6am, and headed up to Griffith Park. It was FREEZING there. I really have to get a long sleeve jersey. Met a lot of really nice people, although mostly older. But still very nice. They said there was over 300 people. Saw a few really cute boys, but didn’t say anything to them.

The ride started off really slow. I was kinda torwards the back and was doing about 10mph. I got tired of that after a while and started passing people. Ended up averaging a little over 15mph. One person got hurt though and there was an ambulance and stuff. That sucked.

Got home from that and headed down to Newport to help austin and gang unpack. The boy he’s replacing was UBER sexy! We all had a good time. I drove Austin back to Long Beach and then came home. Stopped at Kohls and picked up a really cute spoon holder. I’ve been needed one of those since like 4 years ago. I also bought a few other things.

Stopped at Blockbuster to rent a movie…. Since when has it been $5 a freaking MOVIE!? That is ridiculous! I suppose now that’s an even better reason to sign up for Netflix or something. I mean for $5.99 a month you could get up to 4 movies. Who knows.

Sunday I had meetings all day. Very annoying, but that’s what one has to do, I suppose.

Monday I got up at 3:30am and came into the new office. It’s not as nice as the old one, but it’ll do. I _hate_ where my new desk is at. It will suffice.

[private]WARNING TMI: I’ve been VERY gassy for like the last two weeks. It smells like a rotten egg. It’s HORRIBLE. I also haven’t gone poop in nearly a whole week. Something is wrong![/private]