5/23/2015: As of now the La Jolla Canyon trail to Mugu Peak is not only still closed but the estimate is that it will be closed until 2016. The trail was wiped out at the waterfall by water damage. I hiked up the first .75 miles last week and although quite a few people have been scrambling around the closed sections, I feel it's too dangerous for a group to come down in the dark at this point and the Chumash trail is too steep to come down after drinking wine and enjoying our literary discussion. So... I am changing the hike and the hike date (sorry, my schedule changed) to
June 13 and Piuma Trailhead (Calabasas) to Mesa Peak (or nearby picnic bench with a great view if we don't make it all the way). If we go all the way to Mesa Peak we will get 6.5 miles round trip with 1,375 feet of gain.
Where to park: Meet at Starbucks near Albertsons on the corner of Agoura Road and Las Virgenes to carpool at 5 OR park in the free dirt lot at the corner of Piuma and Las Virgenes OR pay $7 to park in the Tapia Lot on Las Virgenes (Malibu Canyon Road) just west of Piuma on the north. Warning: do NOT park along Piuma in the dirt parking area as the Calabasas police have decided to ticket cars parked there. We will depart from the Tapia parking lot. I plan to park on the corner of Piuma and Malibu Canyon Road (Las Virgenes) and walk about 200 yards to the paid Tapia parking lot and trailhead.
This trail is gorgeous with ocean views and peaks from Petersburg to Moscow! A vivid description with photos is at http://www.hikespeak.com/trails/mesa-peak-malibu/ .
Here is what we do:
1. READ the book(s). Anna Karenina was called a "flawless as a work of art" by Fyodor Dostoevsky, my nominee for the best novelist who ever lived. Brilliant writers like Vladimir Nabokov agreed and William Faulkner called this novel "the best ever written." It even survived the purge of works by dead white males at hallowed (and hollowed) Stanford University. And maybe Oprah likes it. Or perhaps the entertainment industry condensed it into a 121 minute thing of some sort. And you've never read the whole thing, except maybe in your twenties when you were trying to impress someone. Admit it! People seem to like the Pevear and Volokhonsky translation. I like Constance Garnett translations of Dostoevsky, but her work with Tosltoy has been criticized a lot. I'm sure Oprah has an opinion. If you can read po-rysskie, eta ochen horror show!
2. Be ready to hike to a beautiful spot at around sunset. Be able to keep up with the group and get out before it gets too too dark. Bring a headlamp or flashlight, water, appropriate footwear and clothing. For this one, I will leave no reader behind.
3. Bring amazing snacks to share. Your host generally focuses on wine and cheese, but the other two food groups, sugar and salt, are also popular and vodka cookies, smokva, herring, or vatrushka would just be beyond horror show.
The hike: 6.5 miles if we decided to do the whole hike and 1375 feet of gain with a lot of up up up and then down down down to the cars. This is up well traveled fire road and single track trail with exposed ridgetops, glorious valleys, and spectacular ocean views all the way to Russia! There is a very good description with a map at http://www.hikespeak.com/trails/mesa-peak-malibu/ .
Rain, fire, revolution will result in rescheduling of this event.
PREPAREDNESS: Bring 1-2 liters/quarts of water (or other suitable liquid) and snacks to share with your fellow lithikers. Please wear appropriate footwear (preferably hiking boots) and be prepared with extra clothing, sunglasses and a headlamp for our return hike. Hiking pole(s) and a camera might come in handy.
The organizer(s) or leader(s) take no responsibility and will not be held responsible for any injuries or accidents that may occur during any reading experience or any hike/outing. These events can be inherently dangerous and accidents will happen.
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