Star Trek Pilgrimage


I left Palm Springs before lunch so I could make it to the Vasquez Rocks – north of Hollywood – in the mid afternoon.  I was a little concerned that TomTom mentioned the roads were listed as “HOV”.  The last time it has said that, I had a white knuckled drive up the narrow streets of Hollywood, looking for the sign.  However, the trip to Vasquez Rocks was uneventful.  The park is a couple of miles off route 14.  I just followed the signs.  The roads in the park itself were gravel, but well maintained.  I didn’t have any problems (I was driving a rental car, so I wouldn’t have cared in any case).  The main parking lot was about half a mile into the park, I wound around and went down a short embankment and – there I was.

20090312165029You may not have heard of Vasquez Rocks, but you might have seen it on television, especially if you are a science fiction fan.  I stepped out of the car and found myself in front of the same rock face that Captain Kirk climbed to escape the Gorn in Star Trek.  I thought I would give the climb a shot and I have to give William Shatner credit.  The incline is about sixty degrees.  It was quite an effort to climb for me (and I wasn’t wearing a velour uniform).  I almost climbed to the top, but I couldn’t figure out how to scale the last jagged tooth of rock.  It was almost ten feet straight up.

Still, the view from the second tier was pretty good.  I was standing where Captain Kirk had rolled a boulder down on his adversary.  The shelf of rock was maybe eight feet wide.  It was pretty windy up there and a sheer drop of a sixty feet or so.  I stayed near the vertical wall.  Marble sized bits of quartz were locked in a natural cement.  The rock was pocked from water erosion and smoothed into odd organic looking shapes from the wind.  I inspected it closely as I didn’t have any desire to recreate the death of Bill and Ted in Bogus Journey.


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