It feels a little like cheating when I use public transport to take me somewhere to start a run; somewhere in my mind it says, if you want to be self-powered, you should just be self-powered. It is the same for bike riding, though there are places – Mount Diablo for sure, and the times I have gone down the peninsula to take in King’s Mountain, Pescadero and Tunitas Creek – that I have thoroughly enjoyed the results of going somewhere that isn’t just door to door under my own steam. In the city, this has mostly been in the service of covering the ground for an upcoming roam with help from a quick Muni trip across town.
I have Fridays mostly free, but I have observed that drivers are more than usually cranky on Friday afternoons, so I tend not to do any city rides then. On my run last week, I have to admit, everyone I encountered was attentive and considerate, but I could see that there were lines building up in all directions to get across the bridge, and that what should have been quiet corners of the Presidio were turning into high-speed rat runs with drivers trying to beat the jams. I was glad to be spending some of my time in even quieter spots.
It was one of those winter days that each year make me glad I am in California; in the middle of the day it was warm enough for t-shirt and shorts, clear, and wind-free. Starting at the Arguello Gate of the Presidio, I crossed over to Immigrant Point via the Goldsworthy spire, and then tried out the Batteries to Bluffs loop for the first time – I think I was actually going from bluffs to batteries, but in any case, it was pretty wonderful, and will feature in a Roaming Zen soon, if I can get the tides right: there were people on Marshall’s Beach when I was out there, and it would be a shame not to take in that part of it.
The return leg took in the Lyon Street steps and a string of parks, Alta Plaza, Alamo Square and Duboce Park, all of which have tremendous views of the city spread out under the hills. When I got home, tired but happy, I discovered that the landlord had indeed come to fix the main heater in the house which had been out all week, and that someone I don’t know had offered a generous donation via the button on the right (along with a very kind comment; thank you for both). I was reminded of Dogen’s words once again.
The view south from Alta Plaza park.