Last couple of weeks I’ve been doing a lot of trail hiking/running in Griffith Park.  I’ve been preparing for a backpack trip in the Los Padres National forest (Santa Barbara Backcountry) with my uncle, Dan McCaslin.  Dan is a long time resident of Santa Barbara, all around great guy, and knows the Santa Backcountry incredibly well.  Here’s a link to his hiking column in the Santa Barbara Independent.  So while getting myself into shape (otherwise my Uncle will literally leave me in the dust, I think his legs are partially tree trunks) on the Griffith trails I of course have been listening to my Iphone and shooting lots of great new images.  This installment will be Los Angeles scenic images.  I will be making a separate post in a couple of days of a cohesive group of my trail images.  If anyone wants to go for a hike/run that will have your lungs bursting, give me a ring sometime.  And in a couple of weeks I will be posting my images of my backpack trip.

I must pull a couple of quotes from my uncle’s articles as he indeed has a special connection to what we city folk consider the wilderness.  “The once-porous boundary between ordinary social living and transformative experiences in nature has become a sealed Berlin Wall.  Those who love to head out onto the remote trails are viewed as a little crazy or pretty “far out” – yet restorative, sparkling, divine awaits us..  Canadian philosopher Charles Taylor suggests that in our postmodern times, it’s very easy to miss those “signs” that may inform you about choices for your life’s direction.  Taylor feels that “mechanism undermines enchantment,” and that we’ve lost a sense of eternal time or “eternity”.  In A Secular Age he asks why so many Westerners are “disenchanted” with the cosmos.  Why does their world feel so “flat” to them, as if it resides behind a screen?  Among other deficits, Taylor mentions the general loss of “the understanding of things as sings or expressions of a higher reality.”  Taylor writes that wilderness “is not [only] the locus of an alternative life to the ‘city’…rather, it communicates or imparts something to us which awakens a power in us of living better where we are,” even in town.

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