Tuesday, October 2, 2012


We have this fireroad that climbs up into the hills behind our neighborhood. It just heads out from the end of one of our neighborhood streets, climbs up to the ridge, and then drops down onto another street. It's the sort of thing I never would have imagined existed before I moved to California.

Until the past week, I don't think I'd hiked it since Baby Grady was born. Maybe once? I know I'd gone partway up a few times, and once when I'd been planning to go all the way, a smaller Baby Grady decided to scream and scream and so I turned around and went home. (Story of my life in those days.) Anyway, I'd convinced myself that not only would it be really, really hard (it's crazy, crazy steep), but also that it wouldn't be safe. It's so steep in one section that it's slippery. But Jasper recently started hiking the loop with Grady on a pretty regular basis and then I felt inferior and wimpy and so I had to start doing it too. Because I am competitive like that.

It is really, really hard, just as it always has been. It just blasts right up into the hills with almost no switchbacks at all. But that means that after about 20 minutes of hard hiking, you are rewarded with this:

Lake Chabot is peeking through the trees.

In real life, you can see the Bay Bridge, a smidgen of the Golden Gate, and San Francisco.

And best of all, this:

And it turns out the footing really isn't as dicey as I remembered. So now my only excuse is that it's really, really hard. I'm not above using that one sometimes.

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