Rama was feeling the possibility of surfing Deadman's last Monday. We weren't stoked on the dubiously "pre-traffic" six a.m. wake-up call, and so slept until a civilized hour, then passed a leisurely morning waiting it out with Poundy and the cats at the casa. It was a very windy day--unequivocally my favorite kind of weather--and I threw open all the windows so it could gust through the house (to Lola's lawless pleasure). After some general tidying I stationed myself on the bed to pay bills, etc., and Rama made breakfast: a wee bowl of TASTY kale with lotsa lemon and Braggs (I could have devoured an enormous one), and a curious open-faced half English muff with fried egg over kale bits mixed in with melted jack. It was good taste-wise, but difficult to eat--it didn't help that we dined in "my office," i.e. bed, and without sharp knives. I just really don't like messy sandwiches that get on my hands--it's a visceral aversion. After brek Rama also did some bill-pay, then reckoned the 'fuck had probably dissipated enough for us to venture into the city. The pre-bridge was still snarly, but Rama evaded much of it with his brilliant navigational trickery.
I was very uncertain about the weather and my GP if and while Rama surfed; before we departed I changed out of my running clothes and into my dress and out of my dress and into my running clothes a maddening, shtick-comedy number of times. Rama ended my indecision with the conclusion that we should both wear regular clothes and change if the sesh was happening. There's always a minor conundrum with our run/surf thang, where we're uncertain who will finish first and should then carry the car key. I have my phone on me, so it makes sense for Ram to keep the key, but then I'm kind of stranded post-run if he's still out. It's especially stymieing because I'm usually itching to do computer stuff after I finish, but my comp's presence in the car is exactly what makes the idea of hiding the keys on the car a bit squirmy. We've been pretty lucky lately with finishing at the same time, but I'm always prepped to hunker down at a conveniently-located establishment to sip coffee or beer and eff around on my phone.
It's a lot easier for me when R surfs OB (preferably farther north toward Kelly's Cove) because I run the park with the option of hitting the Park Chalet after to await (speaking of GGP runs, last week I did a mile north on the Great Highway from Lawton where Rama had parked, then headed three miles up the main JFK Dr. drag and three back down--I always forget how brutal the subtle uphill of the first half feels, and how the return runs like literally nothing). Since Monday the wind was favorable only for Deadman's (or possibly Fort Point) I began to ponder alternate routes. I'm a real creature of habit with runs--on foreign paths I feel my meditative state disrupted--but I considered taking the Land's End trail (which I'd never been all the way down) on a shorter jaunt to the Cliff House. Rain was likely and I didn't fancy finishing my run soaked and shivering only to find myself stuck in the storm outside the car. I kept mulling about it all along.
Rama and I got in a bit of a tiff driving into the city; he was in full-blown trafficky agro mode swerving around slowpokes/sane people and cursing a blue streak. I finally hit my own breaking point after one particularly heart-clutching maneuver, and when R called the offending driver a "raging douchebag" I retorted that Rama was the raging douchebag. Honestly I thought it was kind of a throwaway insult, but he got very ticked and in turn called me an asshole. We arrived at Deddies in full silent treatment mode and passed some minutes like that, Rama surf-checking and me arms-crossed on one of the benches. After a bit Rama sat down beside me and said he didn't want to fight; I agreed, though we weren't totally de-beefed and had moments throughout the day that were less harmonious than is the yoozh.
Peace more or less made, Rama resumed his check and I snapped some pics.
We moved slightly along the path to another vantage of the wave.
Rama wasn't feeling too thrilled by the motion of the ocean and thought killing a couple hours so the tide could change might render the scene more appealing. He proposed meandering Green Apple Books, but I wasn't feeling it, and proposed we take the trail I'd been pondering running over to the Cliff House, split a bowl of clam chowder, walk it off back, then see what the surf was doing.
First though we hit the golf course whizz palace.
The Land's End trail was very verdant, and at parts felt wild and removed from the City a mere quarter mile (according to my Distance Estimator) away.
The whole time we were walking I was sussing the trail out for the possibility of my running it. It was pretty, and there were a good number of stairs which would be beneficial for training (and the labyrinth part, which I've bizarrely never visited, has shitloads of stairs also, and could be looped in for extra rigorousness). As we reached the Cliff House though Rama said he didn't fancy my running it alone, and I had concluded I felt the same. We'd encountered along the way three different lurky dudes, and the trail's pleasant remote vibe could also get creepy on a solo mish. So I'll need a different Deddies GP unless one of my gals is by my side.
Our clam chowder was the best it's ever been there, maybe a little more salted, but definitely not overly. It was tradge-status past popover time, but we did have a hearty basket of crusty sourdough, hunks of which we relished dipping into the steaming, peppery chowder (I don't know if Rama used a spoon once the whole bowl). Our pints of Magnolia Proving Ground IPA were also exquisitely spot-hitting.
The vista was stunning with rain panting the sun-setting horizon's cloudscape. At the end of the stairs we paused at one wonderfully windy spot. It was a magical patch, and standing there I felt like it could be anywhere.
We reached the end of our stroll. Rama continued to feel dissatisfied by what the wave was doing, and then suddenly a squall surged in, pelting us sideways with rain and making the most vibrant rainbow I've in real life witnessed.
We hit the Barrelhead Brewery for dinner--the food was again middling at best, though Rama dotes on their mustard sauce chicken wings. Then back home.
The next morning dawned very clear. I'd been craving an escape-feeling (as I've bitched about here at length), and so we decided we'd take a good hike Tuesday. It had flabbergastingly been over two years since we'd done the Alamere Falls hike; I remembered loving it, and though Rama proposed other possibilities we both felt drawn to the idea of being alongside the ocean.
I made us egg sandos for the morning and sando-sandos for the hike, and we were awf.
Speaking of off, things between R and me still weren't feeling totally peachy keen. As we got on the freeway I said something to the effect of, "Let's have a good day today," and he shot me a very 'wtf is that supposed to mean' look. Fair enough--it was a bit pokey. We'd had a handful of bickerings, spats, and head-butts over the last couple weeks, more discord than is our norm fo sho, and I was reaching my wit's end with it. Rama was tense with finishing up work and wasn't behaving like the most agreeable version of himself; my nerves were frayed over other stuff, and I was in turn being hypersensitive, prickly, and reactive. I'm not often gentle or politic in the way I approach conflict with my nearest and dearest, and rather than extending an olive branch am much more likely to launch a pointed missile like, "Why are you being such an asshole today?!"--which believe you me does not go over well with the dudes, even (especially) when it's accurate. At the United grocery in San Rafael we finally talked it out properly and without any inflammatory words from me, et voila: rapport. Our good communication evaporated the tension, and I felt myself immediately loosen and lighten back into my usual self.
Unfortunately we were distracted by our convo-ing and didn't come away with all of the necessities--literally the moment we got back in the car Rama realized he was too starved to wait for our hike's middle-point picnic. He had in his possession an enormous avocado (from BB, $1.39, #stoked), but no cottage cheese to pile onto it. I myself am one of those rare weirdos who can take or leave avocados (mostly leave), but Rama has an elegant and satisfying little snack I'll share here. He halves an avo, cross-hatch slices it up within its peel, dumps on cottage cheese and douses that in Braggs (and maybe a heavy sprinkling of McCormick's Garlic Pepper too--the "Geroux Boys' Spice"), and eats it with a spoon.
And so Rama and I stopped by the San Anselmo United grocery store for a li'l' cottage cheese tub, and also grabbed a bag of Tim's insanely salty, oily, and vinegary Salt & Vinegar potato chips, a six-pack of pamplemousse La Croix, and a couple little bags of wasabi-ed and salted almonds for Rama and me respectively.
Then on down Sir Francis Drake. Poundo was being so bad--the unrelenting barking, bellowing, grunting, groaning, shrieking, cackling, yowling, yapping, and yodeling had us stuffing our ears with bits of torn-up napkin, which very effectively took the edge off the ear-splitting assault. We got to Bolinas and Rama cruised the wave vista, then we proceeded on toward the Palomarin Trail. We stopped at one point because Poundo in his frenzy had kicked open his tupperware-ed food bowl and scattered bit of kibs and ground beef all around the back seat. While Rama was cursing and cleaning it up I had a celebrity sighting and hopped out of the car to take a pic.
As it was a Tuesday we had anticipated the parking lot would be deserted, and were flummoxed to find it packed to the gills (Rama of course MacGyvered a Rama-ish "parking spot" for us). I don't know if it was Spring Break or what, but Rama stuffed our pack and suited Poundy up in his "Emotional Support Animal" vest (he's actually registered for Rama's mom so I always feel iffy about the whole sitch and I don't like to push the envelope).
The hike was muddy and rutted right from the Eucalyptus-forested start, but we were equipped with the proper footwear, unlike our previous, probably unplanned visit when I'd been in a pair of slick-soled knee-high J Crew boots and sundress. We kept a good pace and passed lotsa folks going our way, and came upon packs of high-school-aged kids heading in the other direction back toward the p-lot (it was already past one when we started, so I suppose they'd completed their trip, which might have explained the plenitude of coches).
Poundy was overheated and panting, and we stopped at Bass Lake to give him a dousing. He seemed uncharacteristically apprehensive, maybe because it was a deep spot, and so it was a quick dip. The water was actually a pretty comfy temp, and I'd like to go back soon to swim before it gets mad hella crowded as it apparently does in the sum-sum.
It didn't take us too long to get to the beach, and the ascent down the cliff was exponentially easier in footwear with tread. (It was funny because I'd dreamt the night before I was scaling sideways an interminable, similarly shale-y cliff.) There were lots of peeps milling around on the beach--down on the sand and all along the hike there were so many older folks, less athletic-looking people, and kiddos in the mix--it was super Right On! We took a preliminary gander at the thunderous falls (which were considerably more impressive than on our visit two-plus years back),
then waded the beach creek and jotted around a jutting to have a more private pick-a-nick. We plopped down around the bend along the worrisomely crumby cliff to mitigate the wind factor, split a divine pickled egg, unwrapped our sandos, and cracked a couple canned Torpedos. Poundo continued to be naughty and relentless, digging a hole behind me and kicking a pail's worth of sand onto my back and into the backpack, then shouting tirelessly about sticks not being thrown, sticks with nails in them being confiscated, etc. After our repast we headed back over to the falls to snap some requisite pics. The Waterfall Selfies:
And of course the obligatory "From the Back" shots:
It seemed the proper time to head back.
The return half I made it my project to collect comely cuttings of various berry plants I was making a concerted effort to memorize (after years of hiking with Rama and retaining none of his shared berry know-how).
I felt pleased but un-tired by the time we got back to the car, less worked-out than I remembered being after our Alamere Falls hike January 2014--that's what comes of being pardnered to a mountain goat (which I told Rama and he liked).
I'd had a bonafide hankering for jalapeño poppers since my first exposure to them at the Marin Brew Co. a month or so previously, and Rama and I had made it our plan to din there and indulge (the hike back Rama kept chanting "holly-pop, holly-pop, holly-holly pop-pop"). We got a spot of reception a couple miles down the road and received a communique from Zeke he was at the Bolinas beach with his ma, Kingsley, and Evan. We said we'd come say howdy on our way out.
I'd (to Rama's great disbelief) never before been down to the beach; we'd done many a surf check from the echium-lined Terrace Avenue vantage, but had never actually hit the beach itself.
We had super brief visit, and then Zeke and fam headed home for supper and Rama and I walked the beach to try to peep a newly-birthed harbor seal Zeke had told us about.
We didn't find the seal, but were treated to a crazy gorgeous (totally un-photogenic) waxing gibbous moon-rise.
And then on to Larkspur and the Holly-Pops at long last.
Tim met up with us at the Brew Co. post-class (and post-pops--sorry T) for beer and still more chow.
Wednesday I hit the lake before work, and despite my bouncy unaffectedness post-hike felt a bothersome a hitch in my giddy-up on my run--a tightness and tenderness in my left butt cheek. (Rama on the other hand felt A-Okay and was very smug about his being soer fit.)
I took a break from running the next day, and Rama gave me a good massage, digging elbows into my locked-up "butt-divot" until it at last unknotted. I passed the rest of my morning "logging" my berry cuttings, which were looking pretty droopy and bedraggled in their improvised cut-off water bottle "vase."
Here they are laid out on my white quilt--how I wish we had a white counter-top like the Nevada City house!
Much the fun, and with more to come.