A while back I was using my Google-fu to try to find some interesting and weird places to explore in the Los Angeles area.
One of the places I happened upon was the Murphy Ranch Nazi Camp, described as a World War II-era enigma hidden in a forest outside of Santa Monica.
The pictures and text I could find about the place made me itch to go there as soon as possible. Yesterday I convinced David we needed a sunday adventure at the Murhy Ranch.
On the site Atlas Obscura they describe it like this Now property of Los Angeles City parks, Murphy Ranch was originally developed to be a self-sustaining compound in the 1930s. It was originally purchased in 1933 by Jessie Murphy -- a person never seen nor documented elsewhere. Despite the phantom owner, the property was developed by Winona and Norman Stephens and a German national by the name of Herr Schmidt. The design implemented was an installation of several buildings, fuel tanks, and multiple massive cisterns. The entire complex, according the plans of Herr Schmidt, was to be self-sustaining even if it suffered years of isolation from the outside society. Schmidt's motivations, however, remain the focus of the lore.

Apparently Herr Schmidt wanted to create a Nazi holdout in America, but in 1941 the ranch is said to have been raided by United States Federal Agents that had kept an eye on Herr Schmidt and his work. The place has been abandoned ever since, with the exception of a few years in the 60's and 70's when artists took over the ranch.
The backstory piqued my interest, but what really made me want to go there was the fact that the only way to reach the ranch was by descending a 500 steps concrete staircase straight down the mountainside.
The pictures I found showed a hidden and secret place, and I was so excited to see it for myself!
We arrived at the start of the hike around 5.30 in the afternoon. It's been so hot in Los Angeles lately so we had to wait until it was starting to cool off a bit, but not too late because we didn't want to get stuck out in the wilderness in the dark.
The light was just perfect and I was already happy that we had came there, even if we weren't to find the stairs.
We met a few people going back down the trail who told us to keep going and the stairs would appear quite clearly maybe a mile ahead.
And there it was. In front of the most beautiful mountain view.
After walking down the stairs for a while David asked "Are we going to be doing this forever, Lotta?" The stairs just kept on going.
It felt like we were explorers in a forgotten world!
I even decided it was worth it to go up and down the stairs a little bit extra for some self timer photos. I didn't know what I was in for later, apparently...
Like a fairytale! Or an adventure movie!
And then we reached the end of the stairs and found the goal of our hike!
I like that among all the usual graffitied penises and swear words someone had written Fuck Hitler (can't be seen in the photo though, if you were trying to find it). To keep the vandalism topical, I guess.
We didn't have time to look around any more than this house, because the light was rapidly getting weaker and we needed to head back to the car before dark.
I plan to return soon though, and bring my real camera! The weather will just have to cool off a bit before though, because I want time to explore this amazing location!
After just a few steps we realized just how exhausting the way up would be. I was breathing so heavy and tried to find a good breathing rhythm to keep me going. Sweat was pouring and we kept chanting about the ice-cream we had decided to buy when we finished the hike.
We had to stop and breathe a couple of times.
LOOK AT ALL THOSE STAIRS BEHIND ME! So sweaty and shaky. Our legs started to feel like spaghetti after a while.
When we finally reached the top the sky looked this wonderful! Like a painting!
Speaking of paintings, isn't this mountain side so beautiful?!
I love the texture and colours.
And another one (I have at least ten more photos like these in my phone).
And over there is Santa Monica in evening light.

Such an awesome adventure! I absolutely love to find places like this and I have already started to search for the next location to explore.
Also, I'm sure that the muscle soreness I'm feeling today is going to remind me of this excursion for at least a couple of days.

That was all for today, I hope you liked to tag along on our hike.
Talk to you soon!

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