November 28, 1997
Northridge(in the city of Los Angeles), California, USA

It’s now twelve days since my last journal entry. I just got back from Arizona. This entry is going to blow your mind! I’m not kidding, and not a word of it is a lie... cross my heart... hope to die... stick a needle in my eye!

I’m now staying with another fascinating couple... in their beautiful home... with another bowl of ice cream(I’m totally an ice cream junky). Anyhow... This is how it all took place - starting back at John and Debby’s house in Oxnard.

Before hitting the sack, I decided to call Riley, a guy I know in the LA area, who was planning on picking me up in Malibu the next day. He had written his phone number in one of his emails, so I flipped through my messages and dialed the number. After I had already dialed the number and the phone was ringing, I realized the number I dialed wasn’t Riley’s number - it was the number of another fellow from the LA area, who had also emailed me. Instead of hanging up the phone in his ear, I decided to go through with the phone call. "Hey Len... It’s MAX. I’m just calling to see what you’re up to." "Well... on Wednesday, the wife and I are heading off to paddle the Black Canyon. You are welcome to join us.", Len answered. "I’d love to go!" I replied. "Okay, great..."he responded, "I can pick you up tomorrow afternoon. Just tell me where to meet you." Calling Len was the best mistake I’ve made in a long time. I left a message with Riley, saying that I wouldn’t be meeting him in Malibu, and went to bed with a fat grin on my face.

After a quick shower and breakfast, John and I drove back to the dock. As I was packing my boat, a man asked, "Where ya heading?" ...so I told him. "That’s incredible!" he exclaimed, then proceeded to call all his co-workers over. His boss came down as well, and presented me with a company T-shirt. I was very appreciative and felt honored, and yet, I felt like I didn’t deserve the attention. I know things haven’t always been easy, and I know I’ve pulled through some intense situations, but I only seem to remember the good times. I remember sitting in hot tubs, eating gourmet meals, drinking wine, paddling on endless sheets of glass, watching whales play, snorkeling in kelp beds, surfing, going to the movies, sitting around the campfire telling jokes, and making friends. "Are these things a person should be admired for?", I asked myself.

I was on the water by 7:30am, and it was another day of perfect conditions. After a half hour on the water, I paddled by an area that smelled like I was nose-deep in raw sewage. There must have been a sewage pipe emptying out into the ocean. It was disgusting!

Around noon, as I paddled past Pt. Magu Naval Air Weapons Station, I had a little excitement thrown into an otherwise mundane day, as I watched fighter jets rip overhead. It was a welcome distraction from the otherwise peace and quiet. Hours and hours of peace and quiet doesn’t really bother me ...but sometimes, it’s too much of a good thing. I get bored quite often, but I very rarely get lonely, and think to myself "Man... I wish there was someone else with me." I think it’s healthy to spend time alone. It gives me time to reflect on relationships, and ask myself, "If I could do things over again... how would I do it?". Sometimes I think about one specific thing, which has nothing to do with anything going on around me, or anything I have experienced for a long period of time, and yet for whatever reason I can’t get it out of my head. Then, a short time later, whatever it was that I was thinking about, enters into my reality. Here is an example...

During the paddle from Moro Bay, to Point Sal, I kept having recurring thoughts about Amelia Earhart. I was thinking... "Earhart(When pronoused it sounds like: "Air heart") - what a perfect name for a pilot. Her heart is in the air." Later that day, while in the dining area at Jalama beach, to my amazement, I spotted an old newspaper clipping pinned to the wall, which read, "New theory arises surrounding the mysterious death of adventurer Amelia Earhart". It was a very eerie scene. This same kind of occurrence has happened many times before. It totally spooks me.

The reason why I mention this now, is because it happened again as I was passing Point Magu. This time, I was thinking about a comic strip, called Marmaduke, which I probably haven’t seen in ten years. The comic is centered around a very large and silly St. Bernard, and the interaction between him and his human family. Anyway... What I was thinking was... "Marmaduke; that’s a strange name. I wonder if they ever just call him Duke?" It’s nutty... I know. I’ll explain myself soon enough.

A half-hour before landing, I met encountered a playful pod of dolphins. They took turns swimming under my boat, then popping up on the other side. It was definitely the highlight of my day.

Once I had my kayak up the beach and got changed, a lady gave me a lift to the phone, and I called Len. Diana waited as I used the phone, then drove me back to where I had left my boat. Yesterday, I was delighted to receive an email from her which read... "I wanted to let you know that you made a very big impact on my life, in spite of the very short time we spent talking. My mother had died that weekend and I was on the beach with my dog Lucy just sorting things out. After I met and talked with you, I really got a new perspective on life and death. I really had a connection with you, and you probably didn’t even know it." I guess all that deep thinking I have been doing is starting to pay off.

Len arrived at the beach around 5pm, and by six we were at his home in Northridge, a suburb of Los Angeles. Immediately upon walking into Len’s kitchen, my eyes were drawn to a small peice of paper stuck to the fridge. It was a Marmaduke comic. I just stood there for a while staring. This is not intuition; it’s more like some kind of crazy psychic crap. It’s weird. I’ve never believed in psychics, but the more this keeps happening to me, the more I think there is a chance they could be for real.

The majority of the next day was spent unpacking, then repacking again, in preparation for our departure to the Black Canyon. That evening, before and during supper, I watched a funky flick called "Pulp Fiction"; possibly one of the most brilliant films I have ever seen. It was the second time I have seen it. Before the movie had ended, Len, and his wife Madeline, sat down with me, and asked me to change the channel to another movie already in progress. "We know some people in it.", they told me. It was a made-for-TV movie called "Bella Mafia". Len and Madeline were extras. There was a good shot of Len in the court scene. He was the star for about two seconds. The film makers wanted an elderly Italian looking man. Len is Jewish, but, could easily pass as an Italian.

Len and Madeline have actually been in quite a few movies. In fact... at this very moment I am waiting for Len to say, "Hey MAX... Are ya ready to go?" I’m taking Len and Madeline out to see a new movie, directed by Clint Eastwood, called "Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil". Len and Madeline are extras in that one as well. I said that I’m taking them out... but they are really taking me out... I’m just paying their way as a small thank-you for being so exceptionally generous. Well... I’ll let you know how it goes...

It is now 1am, and we have been back from the movie for about an hour. It was okay... but not great. I definitely wouldn’t say it was a good movie. At this time, I can hear Len and Madeline in their bedroom discussing its strengths and weaknesses. Both of them read the book, and have a very good understanding of what took place in the movie, and what did not take place, but should have.

It was actually a true story. After watching the movie, Madeline told me that the transvestite in the movie, was actually playing her self(or should I say his self), and he / she was horrible at remembering her lines. I found it intriguing to hear the inside scoop from people who actually know the actors. At home, I doubt I’d ever get the chance to have this kind of experience. It is bed time... Good night!