Alpine Adventure: Take a Hawk Walk

Make for the mountains near San Diego and learn about falconry.

BEYOND THE DRAWBRIDGE: Putting together a sweeping medieval drama, with jousts and thrones and great halls and turret-lined castles, is a challenging task for any creator. There's a lot you want to depict, of another time, but nearly without fail, along the way, a falconer will appear. Perhaps he's a main character, the swain who wants to romance the princess, or he might work for the king. Whatever his place in the story, the viewer is sure to see some beautiful, big-of-wing action, courtesy of hawk perched upon the falconer's forearm. But we here in Southern California don't need to locate a foreboding castle on some long-ago Scottish coast; falconry exists today, and bird buffs can learn it via outfits like Sky Falconry. The organization, which "has a mission..." to "educate the public about falconry, raptors biology, and conservation," leads courses in Alpine during the cooler months and at the La Jolla Glider Port in the summertime. The SoCal adventurers in Atlas Obscura will pay a visit to the mountain-pretty Alpine location on Sunday, Jan. 10 to learn all about this ancient art, how the birds are trained, and the relationships between falconer and the beautiful beastie upon his or her arm.

9 AM OR 11AM... are the early-start times for your lively lesson, and nature is your classroom. You'll need to wear shoes appropriate to the setting, and showing with a camera is very much encouraged. (How else will you show everyone you know that you had a beaky superstar in your personal space on a glorious Sunday?) About the glorious part... We're thick in the run of El Niño, so best be ready for a storm to possibly change the date. (Fingers and talons crossed that won't happen.) Do you want to simply observe? There's a ticket for that. Do you want to jump straight into learning falconry, just in case you somehow get transported back to a castle in 1601? Well, better to be up on that knowledge than find yourself wanting. For all the prices, times, and location info, flap this way.

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