A Week Away

Friday a week ago I packed my bag as full as I could and rode down to the ferry – going north instead of my usual route to work. My friend, who I was due to house-sit for, was running late, so in the end we all drove down to SFO, and I brought the car back, and then continued up to Wilbur via the Calistoga route for a change. 

As opposed to my last visit, Wilbur was quite spring-like this time around.  The mornings were still below freezing, but during the day it felt lovely to be out in the sun. On Saturday there were a few clouds, but the light was soft, and the greens vibrant. I had the opportunity to take a hike to the terraced springs where I have only been once with my camera before; there was small wildflowers dotted around the hills, and a herd of cows with calves churning up the valley. Having been charged by cows before, I was fairly wary of them.

I love this view from Coyote Peak, looking back along the Bear Valley Road. The terraced springs are off to the right below here.

In the afternoon I was on the deck, mostly waiting for the sun to come out from behind the moving clouds; on Sunday the skies were clear enough for me to turn a little pink. Driving back on my more usual route, the redbuds were stunning.

About 27 degrees at sunrise on Sunday.

Each time a rain storm comes through most of us in the Bay Area, hoping that it is the last one of the winter. We had two heavy storms on consecutive Tuesdays. This time it does seem like the rain has moved on and there is none in the forecast for the first time in months.

I haven’t looked after my friend’s cats since the end of 2019, and it was nice to have a change of scene. I took the opportunity to get some rides in, although unfortunately I did not get out as far as I wanted to on Wednesday: it rained all morning and most of the afternoon I got out for an hour and still got a wet at the end of the ride. I spent the day revising for my Dogen class which starts today, so at least I could feel a little bit better prepared in the midst of everything that was going on.

On Friday, having been looking at Tam from the bottom all week, I decided to try and ride up it. It has been a whole year since I was really in the kind of shape I like to be, and since I am about to head to Europe, I won’t be building any kind of form now, but I was happy to be able to manage it. I have only been up that way once since the start of the pandemic, and in the days I used to ride around there regularly, I didn’t carry a phone, so I have very few pictures of the roads and the views, though I made up for it this time.

Azalea Hill – I had the roads mostly to myself once I was passed the golf course.
Approaching Alpine Dam.
At the last of the seven sisters, looking over the ocean.

My legs were tired by the end, but I still had to get back to the ferry and from the ferry back home, and then out to the shops to get some food, at the end of which, I was very tired. Luckily my notes on my class will probably get me through this first one.

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