Monday, January 17, 2011

Fond Family Open Space

"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.


Anonymous said...

Katherine: This looks like a very inspirational place. What a gem to have in the middle of LA! How fortunate that there is a group with a vision to protect beautiful places like this.

Happy to hear you made the return trip successfully. My husband and I love to hike, ski tour and snow shoe and there have been a number of times that we had to "double back" because we took the wrong turn. Things look so different when headed in the opposite direction, especially in the snow when our tracks have disappeared under fresh snow or warm sunshine. We now carry a gps unit with us, just in case.

Jean Spitzer said...

What a fabulous place--and a wonderful gift from the Fond family.

Katherine Kean said...

Marianne, A GPS is a good idea. Since I usually carry a camera I've been thinking that I ought to turn around and take a photo at every turn on the way, but a GPS sounds more useful.

Katherine Kean said...

Jean, it is quite a gift!

Dianne Poinski said...

I wish that had been there when I lived in Sunland. In the winter, the view of those mountains is spectacular. I can't wait to see what paintings come from this trip. I love the photographs!

Anonymous said...

Hello Katherine!

Was just watching a movie trailer and I thought I saw a painting on the wall of the movie set that looked familiar. Then I recalled some of your less recent water scenes. Couldn't find it though in your archives (thinking it was one of yours). Anyway, continue your beautiful art, your atmospheres, scenes, and skies/clouds are as phenomenal as always!


rgmb from old Mindkibble and 365 dreams.

Katherine Kean said...

Thanks Dianne. There has been so much development since you lived here, it's nice to know that there's some balancing out in the other direction.

Katherine Kean said...

Hi RGMB! How wonderful that you stopped by! Do you remember the name of the movie? My archives are far from complete. You never know -artwork has a life all it's own after it leaves the studio.

Great to "see" you and I hope all is well!

Anonymous said...

I don't recall, I'm so sorry! But I'll keep my eye out and let you know! Again, looking through your work, I think you have an amazing gift! Really all VERY amazing!


Katherine Kean said...

RGMB-Thank you!!!!