A useful program for market operators includes long hikes alone in barren wilderness. On a recent 20 mile day hike in the beautiful Sespe North of Ojai, California, there were silent companions along the way.

The Sespe area has no cell-phone coverage, and one can hike for days among the black bears, deer, rattlesnakes, and coyotes without seeing other humans.

Here is the beginning of the trail early that morning, with the Piedra Blanca rock formations considered sacred by the Chumash people who used to live here.

The trail follows Sespe creek, which is a raging river during winter storms and has claimed many lives over the years, including a boy scout troop in the 1940's.

Part of the wilderness was burned in the huge Day fire a few years back, which has now regenerated and energized flora and fields of lupine, poppy, and other colors. Charred shrubs are twisted similar to to the fetal position taken by those burned alive (check your pathology book), and stand starkly against the sweet wildflower breeze:

After a very long trek, we reached the ruins of Willet campground, which was used as a way-station for equestrian pack trips.

Willet includes several shacks which are still used at night by hearty souls of many worlds.

As seen by their religious inscriptions made with flint knives late at night:

In one scorched canyon are the famous fossil remains of a trader, January Man.


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