-Last weekend, I went on a hike to commemorate the launching of my new social project, SlowMove, a currently farcical but sincere organization that promotes moving slowly, because we should walk and bike more often, so that we can be part of the scenery rather than watch the scenery whiz by while contributing to global warming. -After work last Thursday, I packed my backpack and walked to the bus stop at 16th and Valencia. The lady already waiting for the 22 bus explained to me that she wasn't worried about swine flu, because 300 of her dollars go towards health care every month and she was confident that this would provide any necessary antidote. We talked about the shortcomings of the SF Muni public transportation system. She explained that her first month in SF she owned a car and her traffic tickets were more than the price of the automobile and her car insurance combined, so she got rid of it and now relies on the bus. I took the 22 to Lombard and then waited for the 28 to take me to the south end of the Golden Gate Bridge. I walked across the bridge out of San Francisco and into Marin County.
I walked through this tunnel and through the mountain rather than over it.
In the tunnel there was water dropping from the ceiling, and there are stalactites forming along the walls!
Hey, lights from a construction site: they're building more crap!
After picking up my camping permit from the Visitor's Center drop box, I made it to Centennial Camp after midnight where there was a lovely view of SF and her red bridge.
Folks often ask me what I eat when I sleep outside - so I took a picture of my pot of slop. Inside is red quinoa, a can of sardines with olive oil, an instant curry lentil soup mix, instant potato flakes and a bit of rosemary I picked off the landscaping north of the bridge. I forgot to bring garlic. Along the hike I noticed lots of wild fennel, plantain, blackberries, mugwort, comfrey and way too much poison oak.
Friday afternoon I started walking north along the Pacific Coastal Trail after first passing through Rodeo Beach.
Soon after this, then the rain began and didn't really stop.
Coming down to Tenessee Valley Beach - before bushwacking through thickets of poison oak.
What the?! I thought. Well then I thought I should take some pictures. And then I had to jump into the ocean despite the rain in hopes to rinse off some of the poison oak oils undoubtedly all over my bare wet legs. And then I thought maybe I should put this poor, injured seal out of its misery. It made sounds, stared incessantly at me and even started flopping towards me. I talked to it - decided that I was unable and did not want to put it out of its misery. I then said goodbye to it - thinking it would soon die on the beach or if it returned to the sea - would soon succumb to the ravenous great white sharks prolific along this coastline. What should I do? I thought. What could I do?
After going for a rejuvenating swim, I walked past the seal again and noticed it was tagged with a number: 4063. As I left the beach to continue north, I was lamenting the inevitable death of this cute creature, but then I saw four people walking briskly towards the beach carrying two stretchers and a large dog cage. Folks from the marine mammal rescue unit had come to rescue the hurt seal! I was so happy that they would be able to save him. Evidently, he had just been released from captivity two weeks before. I was so glad that I was not pummeling the seal's head with a rock when they walked up; I wouldn't have felt so good, and the seal would have felt worse. I cruised up the trail past Muir Beach, onto the Redwoods Creek Trail and into Muir Woods.
Bourne Trail seen here. Saturday I continued on the Dipsea Trail, to the Matt Davis Trail through Mt. Tamalpais State Park and then moved along the Coastal Ridge Trail where visibility was reduced to about 40 yards in every direction from the fog/cloud/wind/rain. If it had been a clear day, I bet the view from the ridge would have been amazing. I had anticipated that the "crummy" weather would mean that the trails would be largely empty even on the weekend. However, I hadn't realized that the trail that I was hiking on happened to be the racecourse for the 100K (62 miles!) Miwok Challenge and so lots of people, way more hardcore than me, and sort of moving slowly - but really too hurried to be condoned by SlowMove - were filling the trail and interrupting my communing with nature and her rainy elements.
When I split off the Coastal Ridge Trail onto Bourne Trail, I left the racers and their support crews behind and found quiet and solitude once again. I made my way down to Highway 1 and the Bolinas Lagoon. To my surprise, Zeb, his parents and his GF Natalie were all waiting at the trailhead so I could move not slowly but quickly in a car to the cottage on the sea that Z had rented for the celebration of his birthday. And there were many friends and much celebrating.
Tayyab, a lover of fun
Zeb and Natalie, in the cottage on the sea in Bolinas