Amy and I recently drove to the top of Corral Canyon, to where the paved road ends and the dirt track known as the Castro Motorway begins. The light up there is different. The colors aren't the same. The scents and sounds and wildlife all let you know you've left the flatlands behind.
Though ours was one of maybe a dozen cars parked in the dry and dusty lot, the whole time we hiked, we never saw another human.
And if you're in the market for a great blog to read, Amy writes LA Explored, a look at LA and beyond.