February 6, 2015 (scroll down to bottom for photo gallery!)
As with my inconsistent journaling, when there are large gaps in my entries, I feel the need to apologize and explain. It’s as if I’m going to confession and telling the priest how long it’s been since my last confession. Although in that instance, rather than weeks or months, the gap would be measured in decades. For all I know, with modern technology and my disconnect from organized religion, there’s an iPhone app for confessing one’s sins.
Blessedly (I guess this talk of confession has me in a religious frame of mind), rain has returned to Northern California. After a hopeful, promising start of the rainy season in December, the spigot was turned off and we had a terribly dry January. The weather folk describe this week’s system as an atmospheric river that will drench us for a few days. Not enough to break a drought, but it’ll help some.
A couple of big things on my personal horizon: Foremost in my mind, is my return to the John Muir Trail on July 16th. That’s roughly 21/22 weeks away. Predictably, the trail and all it holds for me is never far from my mind. My initial plans, after spending 16 days and 130 miles on the JMT last August, were to only do the bottom section from Muir Trail Ranch down to Mt. Whitney, taking two weeks off from work. But towards the end of the year, I decided that I’d like to once again do something epic to celebrate my 55th birthday, and more importantly 20 years of sobriety. So I’ll be taking an extended leave from work (I work in a restaurant) and giving myself an open itinerary. I learned much during last year’s trip, both during the hike itself and during the months of planning. I look forward to using this knowledge to have a smoother, healthier trip. And a lighter load!
The other main event/happening in my life is a return to school. I’ve enrolled in UC Berkeley Extension’s Drug & Alcohol Counseling curriculum. My first class starts on February 19th at the San Francisco campus. I harbor mild regret that I didn’t embark on this path years ago, but I feel I have much to offer and I’m very excited to begin my studies. The last time I was in a classroom setting was 25 years ago during my short-lived MBA studies at San Jose State University. Given my love of reading and exploring various subjects on my own, it does feel as though my education never stopped. But it will be interesting to see how my brain fares when it’s forced to ingest lectures, take notes and read textbooks. If you hear a large explosion from South of Market in SF a week from Thursday, you’ll know it didn’t go well. But I think I’ll be fine. It helps to be personally invested in the subject matter.
As for today’s blog entry photo subject, it’s nothing fancy, just a small gallery of my four January hikes: Mt. Diablo, Tahoe (snowshoeing), Mt. Tamalpais, and my first ever hike at Point Reyes National Seashore.