Amazing solo geocaching hike today, starting in Alvarado Park in Richmond, CA. 7.2 miles in nearly 4 hours, absolutely perfect weather. Soon left Alvarado for surrounding areas (some private, some public).
At the peak, looking out over the entire Bay Area and meditating on the people I love, struck again by just how majestic the Bay Area is on a perfect day. Spiritual moment.
Took a wrong turn off the peak and ended up in Richmond neighborhoods… which wasn’t all bad — had a grand tour of the East Bay Waldorf School (solar powered art studio, log cabins, little racks full of galoshes so students can play in the rain) before heading back up and over the hill through private property (hopped a barbed wire fence, but worth it). Found myself in some insane machete territory without a machete, powering through blackberries, poison oak and thistle for half a mile – I was committed to the route by that point.
Lesson: Don’t rely on old geocache data in the GPS. Last time I had loaded up this area was in 2008, and several caches had gone defunct in the mean time, including one I really wanted to get in an elaborate hut made of sticks. At another point, found myself in the middle of a herd of cows looking for something that didn’t exist. Mother cow very protective toward her calf, had to move slowly and not provoke.
Also made some experimental photos with the new HDR setting in iOS 4.1, below.
(Click for full-size version). HDR mode doesn’t always work perfectly, but when it does, it’s amazing.