Sea lions, harbor seals, whales, deer, geese, a hawk, some tuna, and a few stray lizards here or there, I’d say we were pretty in touch with nature today. The hiking trail at Point Lobos led us to various beautiful views of the ocean and rocky beaches and amazing encounters with grazing deer, unafraid of humans, and whales surfacing for air. As we walked, we partnered with different people in our group to talk about the books we had read for the class (I read Jane Goodall’s Harvest for Hope; highly recommend it), our families, and interesting questions we hope the trip will answer. After a while, we took a break for lunch and reflected on our day. Hearing about each others’ responses to our hike and our past day, I was intrigued by the different relationships we have with nature given our different backgrounds. Coming from a suburb of Los Angeles, I see local parks and hiking trails in natural reserves as sites that link people to the last vestiges of nature before complete urbanization, so I feel our hike today at Point Lobos really reconnected us with the value of experiencing the outdoors.