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A breathtaking view of Los Angeles view behind the Hollywood during sunset.
On December 30, 2020, after living in Los Angeles for 22 years, I decided to finally go on top of the Hollywood sign. As usual, my favorite part of the day to take pictures is sunset, so I waited until afternoon to drive close to the sign. Due to Covid 19 restrictions, I had to park at the Innsdale Trail, the place where I could park my car.
My goal was easy: hike all the way before sunset. As I started my hike, the first view I saw on my left was the Hollywood sign. The first thing that came to my mind was, “Wow the Hollywood sign is so close, it’s going to be much easier than I thought.” I kept walking and walking, and actually getting further away from the sign. As I was getting away from it, the hill was getting steeper. With my equipment on my back and my tripod in hand I was getting a bit tired, but there was no way back. I had a purpose and decided to fulfill it.
As I was going up, the sun was going down. So I sped up my pace, even though I was tired. I started seeing the sign again, which boosted my morale and assured me that within a few minutes, I would be there.
I was climbing a mountain, feeling exhausted, and breathing with difficulty. I saw people coming down the trail, so I lifted up my shoulder to look strong, as if I knew what I was doing. I asked them, “How long until I get to the sign?”
They answered me, “About thirty to forty minutes away.” As I walked away, my shoulders slumped down, I said out loud, “Are you kidding me?” and watched the sun go down. “I will never make it on time,” I thought. “But I am already so close.” With the belief that I had nothing to lose or complain about, I wanted to get to the top.
I walked and walked, even going behind the mountain where the Hollywood sign looks down at the Valley and Burbank. “I will get on top and I will get there on time,” I told myself.
It was hard, but as I got closer and closer, and realized that I was actually going to make it, my strength came back to me.
I had time to find my spot, set up my camera and take a photo.
As I finished taking my pictures and watching the sun descend, I looked back down from behind the Hollywood sign. The purpose of this trip renewed my strength. It was long and exhausting, but looking down at the trail I worked so hard to climb, I realized that even though I would have missed the sunset, I felt proud and having a purpose in life gives us strength.
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