I hate to do this yet again but travel for my job puts me in overly neutral Switzerland on July 12 so I'll need to reschedule to July 26 and 30 minutes earlier because, hey, sunset will be earlier and we need a long sunset to talk about this famous book. The next book will be the MUCH shorter novel The Pearl by John Steinbeck in Sept, the very SHORT The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde in Oct and the rather hefty David Foster Wallace's Infinite Jest will be pushed to Nov/Dec.
Here's the original description for the July hike/book:
My critics have said I don't read popular works and I shall prove them wrong yet again! According to our bastion of truthiness, Wikipedia (it will appear momentarily... wait for it... now it's there!), "as of 2014, a Harris poll found [Gone with the Wind] to be the second favorite book of American readers, just behind the Bible. More than 30 million copies have been printed worldwide." Popular? Yes. Literature? Hikers will decide. The hike is about 6.75 miles round trip with maybe 375.4 feet of gain and loss. We will discuss the book, civil war, coming of age, dealing with spoiled brats (this one is big where I live), and other things over snacks at sunset (8:07PM) on the spectacular Parker Mesa Overlook (or PMO, as those in the know call it). The moon will be half illuminated, as it is fought over by the blue and gray inkiness of night.
Here is what we do:
1. READ the book(s). Gone with the Wind was published in 1936 and has been popular for a long time. I'm sure Oprah probably has an opinion about it and I plan to invite her on the hike. And the entertainment industry did take a famous crack at it. And they did well on that one. If you've read it before give yourself an extra challenge and read it translated into Finnish.
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 mint juleps, grits, and anything fried would be greatly appreciated.
The hike: 6.75 miles and minor gain/loss a bit of up and down. This is a big wide fire road down which drunken hikers have stumbled in the dark for decades. I have encountered rattle snakes, tarantulas, move producers, poison oak, cell phones, coyotes, and unidentified large mammals on this trail over the years. Many of these things can be avoided by staying on the big wide fire road or waiting quietly behind a bush until the Palisades Menopausal Oprah-ites pass by en masse. PMO has spectacular ocean views and one can see east all the way to Atlanta on a clear day. There is a very good description with a lovely photo at http://www.hikespeak.com/trails/parker-mesa-overlook-hike-trippet-ranch-topanga-state-park/
Directions to the Trailhead: Meet at the Entrada Parking lot trailhead entrance to Topanga State Park. Bathrooms and water fountains infest the area.
Rain, fire, Sherman's march or other acts of civil war 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.
By participating voluntarily you are taking responsibility for your own safety and well-being and acknowledge, appreciate, and in consideration for being allowed to participate in any way you further agree:
1. The risk of injury, education or creative stimulation from the many of the activities is significant, including the potential for addiction to literature, permanent paralysis and death, and while particular skills, rules, equipment, and personal discipline may reduce this risk, the risk of serious injury does exist; and
2. TO KNOWINGLY AND FREELY ASSUME ALL SUCH RISKS, both known and unknown, EVEN IF ARISING FROM THE NEGLIGENCE OF THE RELEASEES or others and assume full responsibility for your participation; and
3. To willingly agree to comply with the stated and customary terms and conditions for participation. If, however, you observe any unusual significant hazard during your presence or participation, you will remove yourself from participation and bring such to the attention of the nearest official immediately; and
4. You, for yourself and on behalf of your heirs, assigns, personal representatives and next of kin, HEREBY RELEASE AND HOLD HARMLESS PM Hikers, its organizers, officers, officials, agents, other participants, great writers, sponsoring agencies, RELEASEES OR OTHERWISE, to the fullest extent permitted by law.
Activity participant agrees that this release will apply to all known and unknown as well as unanticipated claims, injures and damages resulting from group activities, as well as those now disclosed and all rights under section 1542 of the Civil Code of California and hereby are expressly waived. Section 1542 of the Civil Code of California reads as follows:
“A general release does not extend to claims which the (participant) does not know or suspect to exist in his (or her) favor, at the time of execution of the release, which if known by him (or her) must have materially affected his (or her) (participation and agreeing to) the release.”
By participating in any group event or activity, you hereby, for yourself, your heirs, assigns, personal representatives and next of kin, your executors and administrators, waive any and all rights and claims for damages you may have against any and all entities and individuals associated with the group, their representatives, successors and assigns and will hold them harmless and free of all liability or claim of negligence related to any and all injuries, disability, illness, death, loss or damage to person or property, suffered in connection with any and all activities organized by the group.
The Picture of Dorian Gray
The Picture of Dorian Gray