My tour of California has been fast and furious.
Thursday morning, I walked from the hostel near Union Square to Van Ness where I hopped a bus up to the north end of town where Arvind was staying with his parents (they are dear people!). Elise picked us both up there and we all made our way over to the Six Apart headquarters on Fourth Street where we were welcomed quite warmly by everyone. What a great opportunity to meet the Six Apart staff! I finally got to put a face to the names, and even had the great privilege of meeting Ben and Mena (the founders). I was especially flattered that they joined us since Mena is nearly nine months pregnant and looked as if she could go into labor at any moment. A whole crowd of us (Michael Sippey, Chris Alden, Beau Smith, Brad Choate, Ben, Mena, Elise, Arvind and a few other people not at my table who I’m sure I’m forgetting) wandered over to the Koh Samui & the Monkey restaurant for some great conversation and Thai food, courtesy Six Apart (thanks a bunch!)
After that, Elise, Arvind and I headed up across the Golden Gate bridge to the Marin Headlands. For those of you who’ve never been there, the Headlands were once a military compound, complete with
missile silos gun batteries that have since been filled in. It’s untouched hillside rolling violently up the Pacific coastline.with violent cliffs at water’s edge and a stunning view of the city towards the South. A discombobulated coyote was trotting alongside the car on our way up (but the road runner was nowhere to be found the guy in the car behind us commented). We hiked down to the furthest point where we scored a close up view of Bird Island (a stinking rock covered in bird guano). At some points, the trail literally dropped off several hundred feet down to the ocean. Then we meandered down to a small cove where the Atlantic Ocean crushed rocks into tiny, smooth pebbles about the size of apple seeds and every color you could imagine.
After basking a while in the sinking sun, we swooped back towards the city for a stunning view of the Bridge from Fort Point (right beneath the main support on the city side). We drove first through the Presidio and then the carefully manicured suburbs of Seacliff (boasting such celebrity homes as Robin Williams and Sharon Stone). We made our way down past the old baths and then stopped to watch from the Cliff House as surfers braved the waves at Ocean Beach. A quick, disorienting drive through Golden Gate Park and then through the “beatific” Haight-Ashbury district and over to the Marina where Elise treated us all to supper at Greens, a vegetarian restaurant and one of the best meals I’ve ever had.
Odd how we get so wrapped up with our subject matter that we often forget the real person behind the words. That’s the curse of the blog. Content becomes king and the real people represented by page views are often lost in the obscurity of big numbers. How great a thing to meet the people that make up those readers; to talk together, shake hands, poke jellyfish and respond cooperatively to the everyday things of life that don’t really make good blog entries, just good friendships.