Ever since our filming adventure/striptease run, RoseRunner and I have been talking about getting together again for some radical hill running. She's way faster than I am, but I'm
willing excited to do nasty inclines others tend to shy away from. Or maybe it's my scintillating conversation that has attracted her to me. Quite possibly, it's a kind of bonding over hip issues. Or maybe she enjoys the feeling of superiority one gets when one hangs out with an idiot (see comment #64).
When she read about my long run the weekend before last, she emailed me promptly..."When can we do this?" We decided on today.
Unfortunately, my ill-fated Bay to Breakers run-from-hell-with-a-wooden-leg put a damper on things. While my calf is no longer seized up, my Achilles tendon on that left side still feels 'crunchy.' Or maybe 'crackly' is a better word. I was so bummed to email her that I needed to bail on our Thursday rundate :(
We don't have to run.
She said this. Really.
We don't have to run.
She presented me with a list of possibilities, and we settled on a hike. Because she is so nice and I know she just returned from a killer hiking vacation to Zion National Park, I took her somewhere special.
The Sibley Volcanic Regional Preserve is one of the many fabulous open spaces in the East Bay Regional Parks system. Located in the Oakland hills, it contains a network of trails and old roads...and a labyrinth located in an old quarry.
If you're ever in the area and are looking for a free and interesting outing, hiking down to the labyrinth is a great option. The trail is not too challenging...even young children can do it (but it takes about 42 times longer with kids). Getting from the parking lot to the labyrinth is about a mile of rolling hills on some paved but mostly rocky dirt road. There are real bathrooms and trail maps at the parking lot in addition to a water fountain.
View of the labyrinth from an overlook at the side of the dirt road...
...and on the other side – technology!
I've never seen such a collection of satellites!
In the center of the labyrinth, people leave offerings.
Some of it looks like trash...I wonder if some of it actually is trash...
or if the trashy stuff holds some deeper meaning other than being too lazy to pack it out.
Obviously, Cinderella is not trash. But that water bottle in front of her... it's full.
Perhaps it was left as an offering to rain gods...or to slake the thirst of a weary traveler.
Definitely not trash.
Random tissue under rock behind it? Hmmmm....
I know this picture sucks. The cigarette butt is in the shadow.
I'm thinking it was some smoking-labyrinth-walker's last ciggy before quitting.
After walking the peaceful, meditative path smoking that last cigarette, the smoker placed the finished butt in the offering cache in the hopes the quitting would be for good. Maybe.
A strange little illustration of a crowned fox flanked by hounds wearing animal hats (are they pig hats?) somewhat obscured by a hand-written note saying I don't know what, both anchored into the 'altar' by an empty glass bottle...all of significance to someone. Or not.
RoseRunner and I talked about this.
Is the fact that the money is still there a testament to the sacredness of the space?
Or that one dollar is not worth stealing from an altar?
What if it had been a twenty? She said, "It wouldn't be there."
I'm inclined to agree, but what do I know? I am an idiot.
We left an offering...well, she did.
A stick of gum.
After wandering around the labyrinth and speculating on the altar contents and how awesome the regional park system is, we meandered up and around and over some more trails...
...where we discovered another labyrinth!!!
A baby one :)
We were again struck by the beauty of where we are fortunate enough to live and get to run and hike...
Look at all those roads and trails!
And how perfect our weather is for being out of doors...
Did you really just take my picture? Shit.
The sun's all in my eyes and I'm making a weird face...
you are such an idiot.
And then we walked back to the parking lot on a different trail...
Lined with poison oak...beware!
And we saw lots and lots of large dog families....meaning they were large dogs AND lots of dogs in each group. "If you have one dog, you have five" became the refrain. Not exaggerating.
We made it back to our cars and kept thanking each other for being so flexible and okay with hiking instead of running. It started to feel almost like Chip 'n' Dale, the overly-accommodating chipmunks...but in a good way.
And we made plans for running killer hills again :)