Hiking and Wondering

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Bear Creek Trail at Point Reyes

Saturday was beautiful and sunny. I loved it. No jacket necessary. Finally. We headed up to Point Reyes National Seashore after dropping the dog at day care. No dogs allowed on national park trails and Bijan has some separation anxiety. I mention this because we had to be back by 7 p.m. to pick him up. We were going to do a trail on a spit of land that pokes into the Pacific on one side and Drake’s Bay on the other, but we were lazy and got a late start and the trailhead is about 30 minutes into the park by car. Instead, we hiked from the Bear Valley Trail from the visitors center. The trail is mostly flat with very gradual incline, nice after Friday for my legs, which are Midwestern (read: flat, Flat, FLAAAAT) acclimated.

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Zion shirt, Costa Rica bandana

I am 95 percent sure I have done this trail before, long ago when I lived in the Bay Area, but I don’t ever remember seeing so much water. It’s been raining around here for a couple of winters now, so everything is green and the walk was verdant and smelled of fresh vegetation. Aaah.

As we walked, I thought, as I have done in the past when I hike, that an interesting research project (if it hasn’t already been done) would be to study who says hello to whom on the trail. I’ve noticed that young men tend to ignore us old ladies. (Are they afraid we’ll yell at them because their chores aren’t done?) What about other group, gender, race, and age dynamics? There’s a ton of material there. Hiking is a different social situation and self-selecting and I am really curious about what the norms are. I just handed someone a great sociology project. Go for it and let me know.

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