Desire Trails

Desire Trails

Sep 27, 2015   12–3pm
$35 | $25 Members

Back by popular demand! Desire paths are well-trodden trails created by foot traffic, where the ground becomes imprinted evidence of a place that wants to be discovered, and the people who seek it out. Grab your walking stick for this edition of Desire Trails, and embark on Headlands anew with an artist, writer, or cultural leader whose poetic turns on the land will shift your interpretation of this beloved and complex locale. Hikes will reconvene in the Mess Hall where amblers can swap stories of their steps and enjoy a post-trek meal. We know you’ll be returning hungry, so we’re preparing a hearty, healthy, all-diets friendly meal that will be pre-plated and ready to eat as soon as you are. All walks will happen rain or shine!

Walks leave from Main Building 944 at 12PM. Each walk varies in length; details within each walk description forthcoming. Ticket price includes Mess Hall meal.

If you’re looking for a family friendly hike, please register for Mia Andler’s wild food hike; all other hikes are for participants 18 years or older.

Hall Newbegin’s hike will depart from Headlands at 10:30AM, and will return for a 2:30PM meal.

Choose one of the following & take to the hills!:

Mia Andler

Take a walk with Bay Area forager and wild food expert Mia Andler and glean some of her deep-rooted knowledge about local edibles that grow throughout the region. Andler will help you identify the plants along the path that are safe to eat, and those that are better digested with the eyes. This hike is family friendly and open to all ages (ticket price for children ages 3–12 is $15; a full-priced ticket will be required for those over age 12).

John Chiara

Part photography, part participatory event, and part sculpture, this hike is as much a trek into the landscape as it is into the creative practice of John Chiara (AIR ’10), renowned photographer and maker of one-of-a-kind, hand-built field cameras. Peer through the lens of Chiara’s process as he reveals his methods for framing, exposing, burning, and dodging right on the trail.


Bring some awareness of place to the present tense with poet and current Artist in Residence CAConrad, as he leads a series of (Soma)tic Poetry Rituals where being anywhere but here is nearly impossible. Your walk will reveal the creative viability that often lies dormant within our surroundings, and on the tips of our tongues. There are some spaces that can only poetry can create.

Patricia Fernández

Bringing her military landscape research to the Headlands and its coastal defense-era landscape, current Artist in Residence Patricia Fernández leads a walk that embodies the occupation of defense and the psychology of waiting that accompanies it. Explore the history, landscape, and mindset of coastal defense through drawing, rubbings, and archival material along the way.

Juniper Ridge/Hall Newbegin

Sink into place. This Place—the flanks of our local god, Mt. Tamalpais. Learn about local plants and their medicinal, edible, and fragrant uses with Juniper Ridge founder Hall Newbegin as he conducts wilderness perfume exercises. Together you’ll spend time at ground-level, smelling the dirt and considering the fragrant foundation that’s below us all. As poet Gary Snyder says, “Find your place on the planet. Dig in. Take responsibility from there.” Please note: this hike will leave from Headlands at 10:30AM and will return to campus at 2:30PM for a meal. We recommend you come prepared to get a little dirty!

Sanaz Mazinani

Imagery of the West, and the storied Golden Gate in particular, has long shaped our perceptions of this place we inhabit. Artist Sanaz Mazinani invites you to join her in imagining the landscape before the era of photography, when it was the home of Native Americans. After sharing thoughts on how this land has been “documented”, packaged, and foretold, hikers will have the opportunity to create documents of this place anew with sun print kits.

Annie Sprinkle & Beth Stephens

Annie Sprinkle and Beth Stephens’ EcoSex Walking Tour of the Headlands adventure begins with a poetic Ecosex Orientation. Then Sprinkle (AFF ’99-01) and Stephens shine a light on the pleasures and politics of water. You’ll learn Twenty-Five Ways to Make Love to the Earth, explore nature through your senses, and find your E-spot (ecosexy spot).  By the end “you’ll likely have the ‘ecosexual gaze’, and you might discover that you’re an ecosexual too!”