Around The Globe

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

My Life

AIDS is NOT a Gay Disease!

Wow, what a busy busy weekend!

So Friday I worked in Newport, got my new bike, went out to dinner with Robert at H Marys. So that was fun to be back there, got home late that night and went to bed.

Saturday I got up early and drove up to Pacific Palisades and did the Getty Villa, by myself.. Thanks Andrew. It was still nice, but could have been better. After that I drove around Malibu for a bit and then headed home. Went out on a bike ride that afternoon and went the uphill way. That was painful. But it was very nice. I got a few pics from the bluffs up there, such a pretty area. I wish I could own a house up there!

Got home after that and I was dead tired, so I laid down and watched Latter Days, which if you haven’t seen this movie, you MUST go watch it. I’d have to say it’s one of the best done gay movied out there. Specially for the small budget and short filming time they had (I think they said like 30 days or something?). Went to bed after that.

Sunday I got up early again, went out on a bike ride and then hit up the gym. Go ME! 🙂 I’m still no where near what I was when I was in college, but I’m at least lifting more then when I started a few weeks ago. Hopefully by the end of this week I’ll be able to bench 100 pounds! woot! God, I’m so weak! 🙁

After that I went and got lunch, then picked up Jason and we went and explored the Dominator Shipwreck in Palos Verdes. Which happened back in the 60’s. It was REALLY cool. Check out the pics from the linked page, you can see how HUGE this thing was, and then go look at the pics from this weekend, it’s amazing how much it’s deteriorated. It’s just amazing, and it’s only 2 miles from my house!!! It was a bit of a trip to get down there though, the trail down was pretty much STRAIGHT down, and then we took a different trail up, again, pretty must STRAIGHT up and on very close edges. We also had to walk through this really HORRIBLE HORRIBLE smelling area, not sure WHAT caused it, but OMG it was GROSS! There were some cute little BBQ pits down there too. (Not sure WHERE they came from though!)

After that we went out to dinner and got pizza, which I’ve been CRAVING forever. Sooo good. I came home, talked to my neighbor, who is SO CUTE. If only I were straight! And then watched Zoolander. Jay always RANTED and RAVED about this movie.. It was funny, but I don’t think I could watch it more then once.

Pics from this weekend are here.

Pics from Abalone Cove and Eaton Canyon (Which was a month ago, but I never posted pics) are located here.

L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center has started a new campain… “Own it. End it”. In which they say that AIDS is a gay disease. UGH! No DON’T say that! Then you are only playing into these damn right wing assholes. It’s a bit annoying.

Ok. I’m outta here. I have a LOT of work to do!