soft mist


Back in high school, I’ll go further at a friend’s house and we were listening to his George Carlin records, and one of Carlin’s tracks was about phrases no one had ever said before, like “Hand me that piano.” I think of the Pug joke once in a while, like when I think about how much I can’t wait for the fog to lift.

In my neighborhood, a sunny day is something almost magical. Who could want that wicked bone-chilling mist blowing? ! But there comes a point when enough is enough, and for me, so used to San Francisco’s narrow temperature range, that point comes long before the mercury hits triple digits. After my morning walk and bike ride yesterday, I still felt quite lively, despite sweating profusely, to plan a bike ride up Mount Tam today. It seemed like it might be worth testing myself in the heat for five hours of biking and hiking. But later in the day I read some reports of people dying in the heat and thought I should show the heat more respect and wait for the fog to come back, hopefully tomorrow.

Half a life ago I would take a twenty mile bike ride after work on the flat country roads around from Davis, and when the temperature rose to 85 degrees one day I decided to ride anyway, just for his adventure. I soaked a t-shirt in water, wrapped it around my head, and left with two full water bottles. The trip usually took about an hour, but even during that short time, I was so hot that I stopped to re-soak my bandeau t-shirt in the water from the farm ditch, twice. And when I got back to Davis, I went to the pool to cool off and recover. I’ve had other experiences learning to respect excessive heat, so even though I still feel that spirit I happen to worry that my mind is writing checks that my body can’t cash. I’m going to tell myself that stealth is the best part of bravery, even if I feel like I’ve chickened out.

When I started my walk today around 8 am, I had my doubts. It wasn’t that hot after all. But by the time I was heading back up the hill about ninety minutes later, I felt like I had made the right decision. Maybe tomorrow San Francisco will experience the sweet spot of fog and sun like I found it one September morning in Pt. Reyes.

Sun & Fog to Point Reyes
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Pierce Ranch

Facing the Sun with Back to Fog

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