Section 1 of The illumiNation - Venice Beach to Las Vegas - 500 miles
Chapter 1 - Leaving Los Angeles
Walking away from one ocean, looking towards another. Our Journey begins, It's April 1st. 2006, A perfect day to start walking....Was it actually gonna happen! A fascinating feeling to have running through your veins. We were starting at Venice Beach, a mecca of arts and free speech. Venice Beach represented with the sacred sunday drum circles, all the artists and performers along the boardwalk to enjoy and be inspired by. We had everything ready for our first day. A 13 mile walk from Venice Beach to Hollywood. We were going to end for the day in Hollywood, where me and K-Oz stayed. It was Charlie Chaplan's old Hollywood Production studio turned into an Apartment & Bungaloo spot right on Vine in Hollywood. The Breevort Hotel. Fun Times. That place is another story/series in itself. But this would be nice for the first few days being to pack extremely light as we slowly walked out of our comfort zones. My family, huge supporters in everything I have ever done,(so thankful), were of course out to support the first steps and follow along the way through our first day stretch. Happy was in full effect on our first day kick off. The King of Venice Beach, he would travel out with Joy and Life to join up with us when we arrived in Vegas as well. A true underground pioneer in every way. Now we didn't exactly train for this. I did a lot of walking already but would take some wearing in and getting used too. Each of us in the crew developed our own walking problems, painful but so funny to reflect on. A couple nasty symptoms that made have happened to one or more walkers are things like the obvious blisters, sores, cramps, then stuff like crotch rot, crisp crack, the random nail through the foot, hit by a car, hypothermia, fire arts, wild dogs and coyote, BUFFALO, helicopter rescued, ambulance rescued, and many other challenges that we faced day to day. We were energized, it was a mix between Christmas every morning with Groundhogs day, Kinda realizing everyday there were these gifts we received and it was up to us to enjoy and share them differently and creatively everyday. As we walked through Venice we handed out flyers and press releases, directing people to follow us on our Website, theillumination.tv. Twitter still had not been born, no one was using Facebook. Myspace was primarily our only option for social media to stay in touch with people and make friends town to town. Hard to imagine what the Walk would of been like today in a world of Smart Phones,Viral videos and instant constant connection. But it was perfect as it was, so enjoyable to be out there exploring not really knowing what to expect next. We actuallt had to find people to talk to to get directions and information,
Chapter 2 - Entering the Canyons & Mountains - Azusa, Lake Arrowhead and the Pacific Crest Trail.
Chapter 2 would already be bringing us multiple rescue missions, getting chased into wild brush by a pack of junkyard dogs, our first life our death situations and understanding what survival means. How the mind and body work together. After an already exhausting haul up a mountain side and leaving the comfort of our friends home in Lake Arrowhead, Nothing could prepare for what was in store as we walked deeper into the moutain side of Lake Arrowhead towards Big Bear, CA. A mission that would take us along the Pacific Crest Trail. This was going to be one the first times for myself captaining the Mothership. This would be an important role for the Mothership, getting her deep into the Mountain for our safety and support, and if we wanted to jam out at the hot springs!. The Plan was for the walking crew to head out on about a 10 mile hike on the Pacific Crest Trail, taking a rest at Deep Creek Hot Springs and then meet back up at Crab Flats. The Mothership would leave Lake Arrowhead, drive down and around to try and meet up with the crew at Crab Flats. Deep in the Pinnacle Mountains, no place for the Mothership. Or would it be the perfect place, always perfect place is the answer. But these early adventures and lessons were what we would need to understand Survival. This turned out to complicate everything but again sometimes complications are completely necessary due to decisions. We were blessed to make it out of there in tact, By the time we finally walked up and reached our first signs of a highway and other humans about we realized it was easter morning. We walked up to a family having a Sunday afternoon B-BQ, shared a meal, some stories and music and continued on our way. Our trip and plan was to meet back up at Crab Flats. Deep in the Pinnacle Mountains, no place for the Mothership. Or would it be the perfect place, always perfect place is the answer. But these early adventures and lessons were what we would need to understand Survival.
Chapter 3 - The first tastes of Desert - Joshua Tree & Coachella Festival
Joshua Tree has always been on of our favorite getaways. Climbing around Jumbo Rock. Mind boggling formations and textures. I knew we had to make this part of our journey and ended up being right around the corner from Coachella. Perfect timing! Tool was headlining along with so many of our other favorite bands. Our Tool connection actually comes into play a few times in the next few chapters of stories, and many sub chapters that there just isn't enough time to cover. roached Coachella where Tool was headlining. The album 10,000 days was coming out that weekend. We still hadn't heard the complete song. Just bits and pieces from practice. ( What?? Tool practice!!!, yeah, again, other stories). We got the album right before the fest and got to bump it at the nearby coachella campgrounds. It was a pretty epic feeling on top of everything else that we were involved in. It gave us energy in the walk, a huge boost that would be much needed on the harsh desert environment we were about to encounter.
Chapter 4 - The Integratron & Giant Rock
Giant Rock, so much to be felt and expressed about this location out above Joshua Tree. Something that has to be experienced, investigated and understood on ones own journey, It will always be a huge puzzle piece of ours. I won't get into the details of personal and our Giant Rock adventures, but i will say again in reference to the band Tool. Rosetta Stoned on the 10,000 Days album was inspired by one of those Giant Rock experiences we had. That kinda place. Haha. We always take the time to explore Giant Rock, looking for entrances into the horseshoe. The horseshoe is the shape of the stacked boulder mountain like formation that has Giant rock at the top of the formation. Climbing these rocks and boulders will have your mind racing, communicating, and connecting while taking it all in. Thats what happened to George Van Tassel who was introduced to this land back in the 50's? That story with Frank Kritzer and George started what would become Georges construction of the Integratron, three miles from Giant Rock built from(?) . The integratron, Here is a link to a video
Chapter 5 - Baker to Barstow - The desert Contiues
Baker to Barstow, temperature above 100 degrees, our first steps through the (mohave) desert. Exploring Calico Ghost Town. This is where we would lose our first walker Dragon. He did have hopes of returning once w got to Vegas to help book shows and then continue, but we never heard from Dragon again.