PORTAL / PASSAGE

Location: Sespe Wilderness, Los Padres National Forest

Date: TBD

This trip explores the feeling of entering a separate time-space; delineated, and lifted off the familiar world. In the mountains, we tune to the sensation of descending deep canyons, moving vertically through changes in an ecosystem that seem to stack layer upon layer like a sedimentary clock. We peer into the otherworldliness of a round pool, like a mirror that holds another side. What occurs within these boundaries? A transformation? A rite of passage? An encounter? Mountain spaces - clearings, crevices, passes, and peaks - appear as portals to these kinds of events throughout literature and myth. Threshold devices. Where, and how, do we enter? How do we know we are there? Can we know we are there? Do we ever find it, or are we always only looking?

Beginning north of Ojai, we will set out on Piedra Blanca Trail and bend northeast for sixteen miles over three days to come out at Fishbowls Trailhead. We will pass by markers that might signal entry into a portal or themselves be portals; ethereal white rocks, fishbowls of water carved in stone, and a point-to-point journey that is itself a passage from one place to another. 

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