Monday, January 17, 2011
"Everyone needs beauty as well as bread, places to play and pray, where nature heals and give strength to body and soul alike." — John Muir
I had the pleasure recently of hiking within the Fond Family Open Space. This is a parcel of land in the Verdugo Mountains, about 500 acres in size, purchased by the Fond Land Preservation Foundation and set aside as a preserve and as a deterrent to future development. Although this is private land, from dawn until dusk it is open for the public.
I was hiking with a large group of 50 or so people and a handful of dogs. We entered the trail from an easement in Shadow Hills and hiked from west to east, nearly to the 210 Freeway. I've always admired the view when driving past this land on the freeway. It was fun to be in the vista for a switch.
The trail we followed stayed on the ridge, granting spectacular views in every direction, and a couple I may like to paint. While most of the group continued on, a half dozen of us turned back earlier. As easy to follow as the trail appeared heading out, on the return trip there were a few turns in the trail and at least one that I might have made the wrong decision about taking. While not a disaster, as civilization is all around, it would likely have ended somewhere far from the car, thus completely undermining the whole purpose of returning earlier.
More information about the area can be found at the Fond Family Open Space website. I'm looking forward to returning there soon.