GO! Girls Outdoors

A resource for women in Outdoor Education and Recreation

Search Girls Outdoors

Latest Resources

Gear

Gear Resources
Gear manufacturers have realised that lots of women like the outdoors and they're different shapes from men. Here's what's out there, and where you can buy it.

Read more»

Travel

Travel Resources
A selection of travel resources especially for women who love to travel. Includes a list of online communities if you do it yourself, or companies if you need a little help.

Read more»

Surfing

Surfing Resources
Listed here are some links to resources from all over the world that cater to women who love surfing.

Read more»

Hiking/Tramping

Hiking Resources
Extended walks are great for the mind and spirit and lots of women love to take part in them. Check out these resources and get inspired to go on a walking adventure.

Read more»

Snow Sports

Snow Sports Resources
Skiing, snowboarding, backcountry, polar expeditions - all done in the snow and all done by lots of amazing women.  Check out these resources to find out more...

Read more»

Kayaking/Canoeing

Kayaking Resources
White water, surfing, sea kayaking, sprint racing, marathon racing, multisport, fishing...is there anything you can't do from a kayak? Explore these resources!

Read more»

Cycling

Cycling Resources
A list of resources for all sorts of cycling - mountain biking, road biking, touring, racing, recreation and commuting - all specific to women.

Read more»

Climbing

Climbing Resources
Women can (and have) achieved incredible things in climbing. Listed in this section are a collection of climbing and moutaineering resources that are useful and inspiring for all climbers.

Read more»

Organisations

Organisations
A list of organisations that cater exclusively to women, or run trips exclusively for women. A great way to find a women-specific adventure in your area.

Read more»

Outdoor Industry

Outdoor Industry Resources
Looking for resources to help you plan programs, companies and organisations that cater for women or organisations you can join? Look no further...

Read more»

LA and Goodbye North America

Elephant LAAs I sit in the airport waiting for Qantas Flight 94 to Melbourne, listening to the dulcet tones of some of the first Australian accents I’ve heard in two months, I’m reflecting on the trip and the last few days we spent in Seattle and LA.  I’m reflecting on the fantastic time we’ve had traipsing all the way across the North American continent and then back again, visiting family and friends, having adventures and meeting so many incredible and awe inspiring people.  And even though I’m sitting in the airport kind of looking forward to going home and unpacking the boxes that I packed last December, I’m also supremely glad I’ve been on this trip (and I think Dave feels the same way).

As for the last few days: many months ago, right back at the end of February when we were finally planning our itinerary for early March, we decided that going to LA just before we flew back to Australia would be a good idea.  We would spend a few days in Seattle checking out the scene (and I would be having meetings, of course), then we would give ourselves a day or so in LA with absolutely no meetings at all, just to hang out and check out the city. 

The Hollywood SignFurther research later down the track showed that Los Angeles was going to be a little difficult.  First we had to decide where to stay - the beach, downtown, Hollywood or near the airport?  We heard that public transport was horrendous (difficult to use and hard to get around on) and Dave particularly wanted to go to a baseball game, so we decided to stay near the stadium in Chinatown.  From there we could get to Hollywood to walk amongst the stars, into the downtown area on foot, to the beach by train and bus and, of course, to the baseball stadium which was only a walking distance away. 

The city of Los Angeles has an estimated population of 3.8 million people and covers an area of just under 1300 square kilometres.  And that’s just the city!  The metropolitan area has almost 13 million residents.   Hollywood is the “Entertainment Capital of the World” and the hub of California (or probably even the western US) and it is crazy - the sprawl, the people, the pollution, the people, the sprawl.  It’s busy and hectic and there’s not an outdoor adventure in sight unless you have a car, nerves of steel to drive through the traffic, endless patience to put up with the endless traffic and a day or so to visit the park or reserve.  We didn’t have any of these things, and were more than a little puzzled as to why we’d come to LA in the first place.  All I can come up with is that it seemed like a good idea at the time.

Tower downtown LALA is a busy city where walking seems to be very out of fashion and riding buses even more so.  The buses throughout downtown cost the ridiculously low price of 25c and you can travel all over down town (much further than anyone would want to walk) for this minimal cost.  However, the most people we saw on a bus was 4, including us, and it made me concerned about the future of the 25c public transport in LA!  As tourists with dwindling resources and a love of wandering around random city streets, it was perfect.  We found world famous cream puffs, boba tea, a number of hidden oasis-like gardens in the city, a crazy market full of fruit and vegetables and people speaking Spanish, the huge public library, a large number of beautiful public artwork pieces and a massive hotel with a free lift to the 32nd floor. 

Our favourite place to eat was Hop Woo in Chinatown.  After two months of trying new places, sometimes it’s nice to go back to the same place and Hop Woo was it for us.  We found it on the first night we arrived in LA, recommended by the guy at the hotel.  When you walk in you get free green tea, peanuts and fried noodle pieces, meals are absolutely enormous and cost between $4 and $8 US dollars (very cheap by US standards), and they even give you a free fortune cookie when you leave.  The service was quick and cheerful and the place was always packed with people.  At lunch time and dinner time, if we were near our hotel, we would look at each other and one of us would sigh and say, ‘shall we try somewhere different to eat today?’  Whereupon it would be the place of the other to grimace and look thoughtful and say ‘well, yes we could…but we know that Hop Woo is good and it’s just down the road and it would be silly to walk further than we need to’.  Whereupon both of us would smile with relief, walk down to Hop Woo, get seated in exactly the same place by the window, happily accept our tea, peanuts and fried noodle pieces, open the 15 page menu and sigh with contentment.

Baseball LAWe also walked among the stars in Hollywood and saw the Hollywood sign, which was just about what we thought it would be except a little scummier than we were expecting.  Surely with all the movie stars that live there and pay taxes, they could afford to clean up the street a bit.  We also went to the baseball game, which was a worthy experience.  Baseball doesn’t seem to quite excite Americans the way hockey excites Canadians, but it’s nevertheless a pretty exciting experience going to a game.  Perhaps baseball doesn’t excite the Americans because it’s a pretty low action game - especially compared to the frenetic 60 minutes of a hockey game.  We were there for a good two hours and there were 2 runs scored!  The most exciting player for the LA Dodgers is a fellow named Manny Ramirez (he has his own part of the stadium called Mannywood).  The crowd is encouraged to clap and cheer and there was a fantastic moment when the crowd was singing a song together, and where the words to the song were lit up on the scoreboard, and Dave and I almost had hysterics because we were hearing 30 000 people singing about how they were “root, root, rooting” for their baseball team!  Needless to say, no one else got the joke.

Never before have I felt like such an ethnic minority in an English-speaking city.  There were hardly any whiteys at the baseball game (at least where we were sitting) or in the streets.  Some of the streets downtown reminded me so much of Mexico I had to pinch myself to remind me where I was.  In Chinatown and Little Tokyo it was much the same - not that I’ve been to China or Japan, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it looked like the streets of LA. 

John HowardGoing to LA was a bizarre way to finish the trip, but it was good in the fact that it was completely different from anywhere we’d been before.  So, if you want an interesting experience, spend a couple of days in LA - and make sure you visit Hop Woo in Chinatown!

If you liked this article, consider donating to GO! Girls Outdoors to help support future articles and keep the resource up and running.


 

GO! Girls Outdoors

Copyright © 2009 Marjorie Morgan. All rights reserved.

Site design and build by Nick McIntosh

MT 4.3-en