Excerpt

Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature’s peace will
flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop off like autumn leaves.
– JOHN MUIR

When I first moved to Southern California some thirty-six years
ago it was easy to get lost driving among housing tracts and vineyards. I soon learned, however, that if the weather was clear I needed only to take a bearing on the mountains and they would guide
me home. That was my first awareness of the three ranges that
surround us.

An 8,500-foot ridgeline rises 7,000 feet just outside my front door.
Even when obscured by fog – or smog – this mighty span lif ts
my spirits. It steadfastly reminds me that the mountains endure,
patiently beckoning us to their sanctuaries.

On clear days Southern California’s highest peaks are visible in
the San Jacinto, San Bernardino and San Gabriel Mountains. Urban
sprawl, however, has begun to threaten their beauty, habitat
and watershed. Los Angeles County is growing every ten years by
more than a half-million people, and growth rates are escalating.

View entire introduction, including photos (6 pages PDF).

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