High Summer Hike
Too hot to ride a bike, but with only this remaining day in June, I had to get out to “Salamander Bowl” (a four foot deep hole in the rocks out in Elliot Preserve) in time to see the leopard lilies blooming.
There used to be a magnificent lily blooming on a tuffet one level below the bowl, like a Dr Seuss plant, frothy with fine hairy grass at the base (for years I thought that was what lilium pardalinum leaves look like, but no. Their leaves march up a scrawny stem, like those of so many showy flowering plants).
Yesterday I rode to “Ales & Trails”, got good and lost behind Dominican College (a dead end street called Cascade beckoned,
and then rejected my half-hour uphill slog, with banjo, Breezer “thrashmo” commuter bike with panniers. It was about 95 degrees out. At least I saw something: an REI tent erected across a steep chasm with a horizontal ladder that seemed to have been broken off partway across… I could tell that the Denizen still used this sketchy bridge, and decided to turn around, even if it meant separate trips for my bike and the banjo, owing to the slippery footing and the cleated road shoes I was sportin’ (see previous fashion blog).
Found my way back to a proper fire road, and ran into 1999 Wombat Cristi McCabe, small world. She’s just as sweet & youthful as she was back then when the club was in its Hosmeric Heyday.
Then, up at the Nike Site I took another wrong turn, Bay View Trail, and wound up wayyyyyy out in yachtsville, at the Loch Lomond subdivision Miles from Miwok Meadows, where A & T was being held.
Ah, but the bay air was so cool and pleasant, it was a pleasure to tack another three miles onto my itinerary.
At the event I offered to staff one of the booths, plopped down with a beer and proceeded to blather with the legendary (I’ll just call him that, and let him fulfill the destiny at his own pace) Tom Ward. He’s California’s top IMBA policymaker, and I regaled him with how, almost to the day, 25 years ago, Don Douglass, Sherwood Gibson , Jim Hasenauer and me gathered in Bishop to inaugurate IMBA.
THen I saw Joan Murakami, a very enthusiastic part of all things bicycle (though she’s also got a new passion, ice-hockey, which in time she’ll master just like she did mountain bikes, and martial arts..)
Kai Hennig and Maureen Farrel, the Mombats, who a decade ago or more created the East Bay’s Youth Bike Adventures, were on hand to win an award.
It was a grand event from which I wobbled uncertainly, in the shimmering heat, and under the burden of that un-played S.S. Stewart banjo that gets more miles than my “good” Bacon/Reiter instrument.