Being a country girl I find the rivers of concrete otherwise known as freeways and the constant traffic in Los Angeles extremely unnerving. It takes me quite a while to readjust from English country life to LA city Life. But today, I found a wonderful country adventure straight down Sunset Boulevard and a mere ten minutes from our house.
Will Rogers State Historic Park is the former estate of the American humorist, Will Rogers. It lies in the Santa Monica Mountains in LA in the Pacific Palisades area and the views across the city and the ocean are to die for. It’s a dream to be able to walk … or hike, as the Americans call it, through acres of high desert foliage with the intense blue sky overhead. To discover this paradisal gem of nature right on my doorstep was a delight. After the intense rain that LA has recently benefitted from, the vegetation shone green. Add in the silvered Californian light and the result is heavenly.
Will Rogers was a humorist and the highest paid Hollywood movie star in the 1930s. He was also a newspaper columnist, a social commentator and a great friend of my partner’s granny, the broadway star and comedienne, Fanny Brice. The American people adored Rogers but sadly, he was killed in 1935 in an airplane accident. After the death of his wife, Betty in 1944, their 31-room ranch house, with its 11 baths and 7 fireplaces became a state park.
The ranch was Will Roger’s sanctuary – the place where he could relax with his family and his many Hollywood friends. His favourite pastimes were roping and riding and the house, which is open to the public, is full of horse related memorabilia. If you are horsey-minded there are equestrian activities galore, including polo and riding trails to clip-clop along.
Me … I shall invest in a proper pair of hiking boots, a cowboy hat and a lasso. You never know what I might corral on my new American adventures!
Will Rogers looking very dandy with his eponymous rope.