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.