I have heard from several sources that Jerry Schad, the author of the Afoot and Afield books, which have guided many of my hikes around Orange County and San Diego since my youth, hasn't been feeling well lately.
I won't go into any details, since I have no firsthand knowledge, but I would ask everyone to save some positive energy for him and send it his way so that he gets well soon.
His bio from his website:
Jerry Schad, a full-time community college professor of physical science and astronomy, has been photographing the sky since 1965. Jerry's astronomical photographs have been published nearly 1000 times in national (US) and overseas publications, starting with a planetary-conjunction sequence appearing in Sky and Telescope magazine in 1966. His recent photo credits include U.S. News and World Report (cover of April 7, 1997 issue), Newsweek, Time, Reader's Digest, Scientific American, Discover, Sky and Telescope, Astronomy, and ABC News (Discovery Channel).
Schad has authored 12 books on subjects as diverse as physical science, natural history, running, hiking, and bicycling, and he has written more than 500 articles and columns on the same subjects for regional and national publications.
Update August 10, 2011: There was a very touching article in the Union-Tribune today, offering more insight into Jerry's condition and state of mind. Jerry has terminal Stage 4 kidney cancer and has found the love of his life. Well-photographed and well-written, it's a must-read.
Update September 22, 2011: I just heard the news that Jerry has passed away early today. I hope that it was peaceful and he was dreaming of hiking with his wife. He will be missed, but truly his spirit lives with many people hiking the trails of Southern California and beyond.