Not for the first time, heading out for a run in the city after running at Tassajara felt quite effortless. The first Christmas I came back from the monastery to San Francisco, after doing some runs in the mountains over the previous months that were too long and arduous ever to want to contemplate doing again, I ran down to Baker Beach from Zen Center, and having gone up the sand ladder, felt that I hadn’t had much of a challenge, so for the first and only time, ran over the Golden Gate Bridge and back before continuing home.
I am older and less ambitious these days, but having set out in the middle of a warm day on Monday – so as to have some time to recover before going over to the jail – over Liberty Hill, and then looping up and over Bernal Heights, the flat sections felt easy, and latter climb seemed rather like going up the road at Tassajara, and not particularly challenging. I have done that route once before, but on that occasion I turned straight back. This time I continued south to Holly Park, where a cooler wind was blowing up what I would call the Alemany corridor (I suspect it has another name), then across towards Glen Park, with its cute tiny cottages, to take on the Harry Street steps, just because. Though it is nominally only twelve blocks back home from there, each numbered block has a named street between it, and there are a couple of slopes in the way, the invisible-to-maps Duncan/Castro open space, and Liberty Hill again. I was feeling rather less perky by this time, though at least in this direction I got to go down rather than up the charming Billy Goat Hill, which we took in as part of the roam last Saturday, completely covered, as were some of the slopes of Glen Canyon, with white and lilac wild radish (helpfully identified for us by Loretta).
The weather turned much cooler during the week, with unusually strong winds persisting, so when I went out on Friday afternoon, there was quite a different feel. I took the tried and tested route up to Twin Peaks – most of which will feature in the next Roaming Zen. When I was up at the exposed top of the climbs, the wind was pushing me steadily from the side; for once there were no ravens to be seen. The swiftly passing clouds caused wonderful patterns of light and shade over the downtown area, far below.