“The world is too much with us; late and soon, getting and spending we lay waste our powers; little we see in Nature that is ours; we have given our hearts away, a sordid boon.”
In 2010 I embarked on a hiking mission fueled by my desire to hike the Camino de Santiago in Spain (750km over a 14 day period). The regional park district in my area (East Bay Regional Park District) was coordinating with Kaiser Permanente to encourage area residents to get fit by hosting “Fitness to Trails Challenge”. Each participant was to hike and log a marathon’s worth of hiking throughout the park district’s lands (26 miles, not all at once unless by choice). A long time hiker, this was right up my alley and timely preparation for reaching my Camino goal.
I took the opportunity to visit some parks I hadn’t ventured into. Lake Chabot, a stone’s throw from my home, offered a 13-mile hike around a beautiful lake with a terrain that changed from verdant to almost desert-like along a somewhat moderate trail with peaks and valleys for an interesting challenge.
Read my thoughts about a day at the Lake:
…As I crested a rise in the trail, a break in the trees revealed a bird’s eye view of a lone fisherman, shrouded in tule fog, casting his line from his boat (reminded me of my dad). Soon, I crossed a long, narrow, wooden footbridge that traversed a gorge and led me to a steep ascent (harkening back to a mountain biking trek I took along the Cuale River in Mexico). The sun began to climb high in the sky and I took a rest on a stone wall next to a waterfall and brook. Sunlight was filtering through the massive ferns, giant rhododendrons and towering eucalyptus trees creating otherworldly shapes on the trail. Suddenly it caught my eye as it lay up ahead; a dead mole. I had never seen one before alive or dead. It was interesting the way it simply appeared to be sleeping; a perfect still life…
“When he feels the wind blowing through him on a high peak or sleeps under a closely matte white bark pine in an exposed basin, he is apt to find his relationship to the Universe.”