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"How many boulders can we possibly have to climb over?" I chuckled to my friend Julie, when she warned me that her boyfriend David's friend Ben had asked if I were "sporty" enough to handle the Malibu hike we were about to embark on. The answer? Too fucking many. You can't tell from the photo, but my knees were a-knocking, I was hyperventilating, David was coaching my every move, and I fully believed there was a good chance I might split my head open on a river rock. There's no question that Malibu Creek State Park is jaw-droppingly beautiful, but I'll admit I'm more into the "walking up gentle grassy inclines" concept of hike, than the "gripping rocks so tightly I strain my triceps" type of hike. We made it past the scary vertical stretch of volcanic rock-face jutting over the river (two feet deep, but who cares when you're doing everything in your power to claw your way to safety?), but during the fact I was none too fond of Ben (in the red shirt), an actor who's been in I Heart Huckabees and Lords of Dogtown. Before we set out, Ben had compared the imminent feat to climbing along a Coke machine, so I practiced...on a Coke machine. Believe me, the real real thing wasn't the same. Shortly after returning to safety we met some serious rock climber dudes with ropes and clips and picks and other things with names that I don't know. One of whom read my t-shirt (I heart BKLYN: a farewell gift from Julie when I moved to LA) and said, "I've heard of that, it's in somewhere in New York, right?" And then when I tripped over another rock and whacked my shin into a larger rock, he said, "Oh, that's really gonna hurt. You're not even going to be able to walk." I smiled and offered him my best New York salute as I limped to flat land. Rock on!posted by Steffie Nelsonphoto by Julie Almendral