March 16th, 2002



I think of my new cat, Simba, as a light-orange long-haired tabby cat. I noticed, though, that one of the medical records I got from his previous owner refers to him as an "apricot persian". Well, woweee. It's fun to think of him as apricot. So stylish.

What a line

Last night I dreamed I was coming down the steps at the SLO city hall, and I met several of my friends at the bottom, people I have not seen in a long time. They were looking up at me, saying how good I looked, and I was actually moving in an exaggerated way to show off my new look. One of these "friends" was Sean Penn, who said "Offend me".

Now seriously, is that not a terrific pickup line? At first, I just thought it was funny that someone like Sean Penn would say that, but now I can see its possibilities.

Felsman Loop

Today's hike: Felsman Loop, which skirts around the lower reaches of Bishop Peak. It climbs a fair amount, goes through beautiful oak forest, crosses a little stream, offers nothing short of spectacular views of the peak and others of the Morros almost all the way to Morro Bay. This was my first time on this loop, 2.7 miles. Good little hike, not too long, not too short. I feel energized by it.

Now I am sitting in a cybercafe on Foothill, not very far from the trailhead, sipping a latte with lovely foam. Could I ask for more? No, not really. A different experience, a different time, with a companion, maybe, but I do enjoy these hikes alone.

It was cold and windy when I started the hike and my hands quickly became so cold I cursed myself for forgetting gloves. What I need to do is stock that backpack and leave it stocked, so all I have to do is add in food. Eventually my hands and the rest of me warmed up and I was enjoying the walk. The trail is well-marked and well-maintained, but it crosses other hikes so it is good to have a guide. I managed to follow it exactly right but would surely not have done so without the Sierra Club guide.

Man! This is one of the best lattes I have had. It isn't that they are all that hard to make but most baristas don't give much of a shit. Like so much in this world...sigh. I think I get a half hour free on this computer with this drink but I am not sure. It doesn't matter all that much. I can handle the $2.50 if it comes to that.

I saw five other people on the trail: two sets of two women, one set with one dog, the other with two, and one young man. I recognized one of the women, a therapist I used to see. We said hi in a way that showed we recognized each other but we did not talk. It looks like many people use that trail to walk dogs, run, go for fitness walks. I would, too, if it were a bit closer to my house. But nonetheless it isn't all that far, just across town. I'd like to drag other people up it with me.

I took many pictures. My meter does not seem to be functioning correctly so I don't know how the exposures will turn out, but the day is so beautiful. I could not look for a crisper sky, stark clean hills, lush green vegetation, richly-colored flowers. It was almost overwhelming, it was so beautiful. I felt drunk with it.

When I was about 3/4 or more through the hike I stopped to eat. I had gotten pretty high up and the wind was back, but there was a heavy piece of wood set in the ground, about the right height for a bench, and I sat on it. I listened to the wind, the birds, watched the sky, and ate my sandwich, my version of the blt (yeah, "breakfast strips" instead of bacon, "lite" mayo, I am sure plenty of salt and maybe some carcinogens in both of those), and a banana. Food never tastes so good as it does when eaten in such an idyllic fantasy place, reached by my own feet.

I got back down and drove to this shopping center. I figured I should stretch my legs, so I was doing that next to my car when a woman came along with groceries and asked I was in pain. No. She said she had once gotten so cramped up she stood in the parking lot just trying to get the pain past, and she wondered if the same were happening to me.

Right now, though, my right leg feels a little funny. I may need to work on that one some more.
  • Current Music
    None! The cafe is quiet!! Amazing!!

A new place to spend money

Today I went into Mountainaire Sports, looking for USGS maps and hiking shoes. I found the maps and looked at the shoes. I also saw many other things of interest: dried foods, lightweight emergency covers (that stuff that looks like aluminum foil that keeps the heat in), many other goodies. I bought the maps, three of them, plus a teeny light that can hook onto my backpack. It is the size of a key ring and puts out a lot of light, using batteries similar to those in cameras. I had wanted a flashlight both in case I am on a trail late in the day and in case I get into a dark part of a forest. This thing practically weighs nothing and takes no room because I can clip it onto my backpack.

I looked at trail guides but they didn't have any for the Big Sur area, oddly enough. More guides for rock climbing than for hiking. Nice clothing, Patagonia and other nice brands. Stuff to want. I needed this, all right, something else to spend money on. Really, it isn't such a terrible thing.