Monday, July 03, 2006

After a day of rest and recuperation...

After a day of rest and recuperation, I'm starting to recover from Saturday's hike. While it was lovely and wonderful circling our portion of this peninsula on foot, my feet paid dearly. We left home intending to "walk along the bay." Across the way from us is a spacious water-front park. There is a mud-flat where long-beaked birds scavenged for food stranded by the receding tide. On walking paths, we passed flowering fauna, distinctive-looking trees, quaint houses with impressive rose gardens, places to play and view to spare.

I tried to do a flip on the pull-up bars. I remember as a child growing up in Columbus, Kansas, how I loved to twirl around, somersaulting around the railing on the platform leading out of the United Methodist Church toward the stairs. My folks were undoubtedly inside talking with friends. Remember how as a kid it seemed like this took forever. My brother and our friends often hung out on this landing, waiting. But Saturday, I could not spin around these bars. Even when Cam, tried to help me, I couldn't lift myself above the lowest one. We walked on. A bit down the road, I was looking back while taking a picture and saw these beautiful, fit young women on the bars. Oh well. Good for them.

Sam's has been very into the monkey bars this year and last. He has calluses on his hands which he doesn't mind because they allow him to reign. He hasn't moved on to these big bars yet but I'm sure he'll have them mastered soon. Maybe, if I keep walking like we walked on Saturday, I can join him someday.

On our way to the end of the peninsula, we stopped to have a picnic. Cam had the lovely idea of packing one. Then we made it to the tip where the shops, restaurants, theatre and ferry landing are located. Many people were out enjoying the day but it wasn't crowded. We found a bench to sit on immediately.I wanted to continue on around the peninsula and walk home along the other side. Cam had planned to walk back. He reminded me that there didn't appear to be walking paths on the other side and that the walk was appeared strenuous. I didn't care. I wanted to try. I wanted to make a loop, complete the circle, continue on and move forward seeing new things rather than turning around and walking back.

Cam was willing to try. I didn't think it would be that hard, since in my mind, we were half-way regardless of which side we walked back on. At first, it was lovely. We walked past a girl with a lemonade stand. Her two big dogs were having a blast diving in and racing after a stick her father was throwing into the water. I've made somewhat of a vow that I will stop and buy lemonade (or other like item) from a little kid anytime I see a stand like this one.
We used to try to sell things on the side of the road when I was young and at the time, we couldn't understand why everyone would not stop. Once, I remember we "sold" what we thought were especially lovely rocks. I think they were probably from a neighbor's driveway but they were white and sparkly. Now I can't believe anyone bought one from us but I distinctly remember at least one lady stopping.

Sam and I tried to have a hot cocoa stand in Chicago one cold day the first few months after we moved there. I wanted him to have the same fun memories of giving a tasty drink to appreciative adults and earning some money in the meantime. Most of the people in Chicago walked by us, in their abrupt way, without making eye contact. We decided to try to engage them, "Do you want some hot chocolate?" They started moving away from us like they do the homeless people asking for hand-outs. We moved to a busier intersection (where I think soliciting is strictly prohibited) but were able to sell the last of the drink we had prepared. We had at least two particularly kind ladies stop. One bought a drink for her friend. Another woman just gave him a dollar and said he could keep the drink. She remembered having a stand of her own when she was young too.

Once, in Iowa, I was driving home and saw some kids with a stand on the side of the road so I stopped and handed them some money before fully realizing what I was buying. They handed me a cup of dirt complete with "night crawlers." No joke. I took them home and released the worms into my mom's garden. So, as Cam mentioned, this girl on Saturday wasn't offering anything especially tasty but it is the principal of the thing for me.

Just past the girl, we saw a group of boys out on a cool pier. Cam noticed they were holding at least one crab. I wanted to see how they caught it so I infringed on their territory, this public pier. They were proud to show me their technique. Another crab was caught in the wire hoop net they had lowered to the floor of the ocean. It had been lured in by this giant fish head they had in a small net pouch attached to the inside of the net.

My grandfather used to take me fishing when I was young. I was thinking it would be fun to take Sam crabbing when he returned. But I'm not sure what we would do with any crabs we caught. I have been looking longingly at them at the store but don't know if I would have the heart or stomach to take them home and eat them. Plus, I don't know about the regulations yet or if these crabs are safe to eat, etc. Regardless, it was fun watching them have so much fun.

We walked along. Now, instead of being on public walkways, we were walking along the road - between the traffic and people's driveways. They weren't sharing much of their access to the bay-front property. We did walk by this tiny castle that was public and were still had access to views of the bay. Our view was just often obstructed. And the road was curved which meant we'd walk left then the road would turn and we'd walk right then back left then back right which was fine but we weren't making forward progress very fast. At least there was another park along the way. We stopped there lay in the shade to relax for a bit before continuing on.

In the end, we walked about four miles from our home to the end of the Tiburon peninsula. The about eight miles coming home the other way. I appreciate Cam being such a good sport about it. He had more endurance than I do. And better shoes. I love my Birkenstocks and have walked many a mile and even climbed mountains in them but by the end of this 12 mile hiking day, I had a painful blister and sunburned shoulders. Lessons learned.

I needed a day of rest yesterday to recover but I'm feeling better today and can reflect back on the experience fondly. Maybe today we’ll head over to REI so I can get some proper hiking shoes…

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