The Oaks at Ojai [2]

Early morning. The light lifts over the Topa Topa mountains surrounding southern California’s town of Ojai. I’ve got my hiking boots on and am ready to head up to the trails. Our group leader begins with stretches to wake up our bodies.

Next, a 20 minute climb up a steep grade. My brain says go, my hip screams stop. Instead of admiring the cultivated vegetation in the desert, I think about when I can take a break.

The beauty of Ojai is that no one pressures you. Do a little or do a lot. It’s all up to you. The ancient trails of the Chumash Indians have a calming effect. I am told that there is a spirituality to the land, and I believe it.



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