High Adventure in L.A.

Gary Ziegler - the man who may one day take me back to Peru

Last Thursday, I was invited to attend women’s night at the Adventurers’ Club of Los Angeles. Started in 1921, the club is still a mens-only organization, but once every couple of weeks, they invite women to their weekly dinner and presentation. Current club president Marc Weitz is a fan of my blog, so he and past president Steve Bein invited me to be their guests. They’ve also invited me to give a presentation at a meeting this fall.



The Adventurers Club of LA, located somewhere northeast of downtown, was organized in 1922. They've been in the same building for decades. And yes, that is the first kayak to navigate the Nile. (Awesome!) And a stuffed polar bear. (Not so.)

Walking into the meeting spot in east LA was like walking into the past. I don’t think much has changed about the building since the 1960s, aside from the addition of more taxidermy. The newspaper clippings about past members were fascinating, but there was little in the archives about recent members and adventures. Marc, who is considerably younger than most of the members of the ACLA, is trying to attract younger members to the club while still maintaining its long legacy. (Hence my invite.)

The speaker Thursday night was Gary Ziegler, a Colorado-based archeologist who specializes in the Inca and has spent more than 40 years exploring remote archaeological investigations in Peru. He is truly an adventurer and I enjoyed his talk. I also love Peru.

My favorite piece of memorabilia - a bike that traveled around the world. Twice.

I’ve never returned since spending a few weeks there with the Mulanovich family in 2003, but I certainly plan to make a return trip. I would like to spend time in Cusco and at Machu Picchu, as well as in Mancora, the fishing/surfing village in the north that I fell in love with on that trip. Ziegler also owns a company that organizes tours on horseback through the Andes, so I’m pretty sure I was invited to this club meeting to help me plan my next vacation.

That night, I also met a woman who makes her living as a big-game hunter, several men who have sailed around the world and a married couple who are gemologists and jewelry designers and have lived in more countries than I’ve visited. I also saw my first shrunken head, which could have waited until after dinner.


Leave a Comment