mountains, sunset, and a full moon (a slideshow)

When I think of California, I automatically think of sun, even though that’s not really accurate in the Bay Area, which experiences a pretty serious foggy season in June and July.

As soon as I arrived back in my homeland on July 15, I took to exploring the area of the peninsula where I’ve been staying, near South San Francisco. In particular, I needed a new Mont Royal: a little mountain I could climb regularly to get a nice view of the city and terrain, and take pictures. (Mont Royal is the big hill / little mountain in the center of Montreal, after which the town is named. I would walk it to and from work on a regular basis the last three months I lived there.)

I found my little slice of (almost) solitude and nature on Sweeney Ridge, the site of the “discovery” of the Bay Area by the Spaniard explorers in 1769. I visited Sweeney Ridge in early August, only to be greeted by chilly temperatures and summer fog. (I was still able to snap a few good pictures that time and still very much enjoyed the hike.)

The last three or four days have been very warm and clear compared to late July and early August, but I was feeling tired (maybe even exhausted) after our mother-daughter road trip and didn’t feel like doing anything. I lazed around until I couldn’t take it any more: I needed to go for a little adventure. So, I hiked up to the top of Sweeney Ridge last night and was rewarded with awesome views, a gorgeous sunset, a nearly full moon, two bunny sightings, and the most epic vision of all: a pair of coyotes on the trail waiting for me in the encroaching darkness. As I walked by I wanted to thank them for not hiding before I saw them. I don’t think I’ve ever seen coyotes before (and I was glad the weren’t mountain lions, which probably would have scared me).

As I’ve aged (and particularly since I stopped drinking) I’ve tried to focus on what brings true happiness, to myself and to others. One of the things I’ve learned about myself is that the simple things give me the greatest pleasure: mountains, sunset, and a full moon.

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