Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Inspiration Point

My friend E and I decided that we would go on a sunrise hike once each season. It would give us an opportunity to witness the early morning and get some exercise and inspiration. We aptly decided that the perfect hike for this trail was the one in Tilden Park leading up to Inspiration Point.

I was not planning on going to Tilden Park this afternoon. I was first planning on going to Bodega Head, but that was not in my destiny. I decided instead to go to the Hayward Shoreline. I drove through  heat and traffic to discover that there was construction going on in that particular area, so the hike would not be as quiet and serene as I had hoped. Since Hayward was being all wayward, I decided to just go on the tried and true Inspiration Park trail.

As I walked up the trail, I noticed the lack of people. There was a good number of cars in the parking lot, so there had to be people, right? I kept walking.

After a while, my imagination took over. What if there was a mountain lion? I reasoned with myself. The chances of encountering a mountain lion on such a heavily used trail were slim. But strange things do tend to happen to me.

The trail was taking longer than I remembered. Then I noticed that I wasn't enjoying myself as much as I expected. The view was stunning. The scent of the forest was pleasing. The sun was shining. The breeze felt good. Why wasn't the turn-off leading up to Inspiration Point yet there? And why weren't there any people on the trail? The mountain lion fantasy had not quite left my mind. Then I heard a strange creaking sound. It sounded like the door of a haunted house opening. There were no houses around. What was that?

I had been walking for about 35 minutes, and the turn-off had to be nearby; still, I turned around and decided to walk back. Less that a minute after I turned around, I saw an elderly man walking his dog.

My saunter down the hill was peaceful. I stopped and sat on benches. I walked off the trail to check out the view. I took pictures. I inhaled the forest air. I never reached Inspiration Point, but I was inspired to enjoy the rest of my hike.

Fear is a strange thing.

So is imagination. 

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