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February 07, 2006

Today's walks

When more than one blog reader emails me to ask whether I'm OK — the tenor of these blog posts having changed so markedly since I got home, to say nothing of my comments elsewhere — then it's time to go for a walk.

Which I did this afternoon, with Matthew. It was a short walk, a mile and a quarter, but one fifth of that first mile involved a climb of 260 feet and change. If the Bright Angel Trail climbed that steeply from the Colorado River, its top end would be 5600 feet above the South Rim. We went from Earth Island — much of the source of my foul mood, and about which I will have an announcement before long — down Sansome Street and up the mildly famous Filbert Steps, the home of the slightly more famous Parrots of Telegraph Hill.

The parrots were not in evidence on the steps. A couple had squwaked overhead as we passed Green Street.

But the climb was exhilarating and fun. Coit Tower was relatively devoid of tourists, the missing ones perhaps mindful of Bill O'Reilly's invitation to terrorists to blow the thing up. More view for us. The ceanothus are blooming on Telegraph Hill tonight, and though we talked at the time about their bloom coming rather early I think they're not really all that far off their usual schedule.

The mockingbirds, however, are damned early. I went for a second walk with Zeke after I got home, and they were singing already. White-tailed kites screamed back and forth across the park's night sky. This Saturday is the day we somewhat arbitrarily celebrate Zeke's 15th birthday, though I haven't bought him anything. Sophie will be coming over for a tea party with Auntie Becky that afternoon — because, as you know, we hate children — and Zeke will likely want to be somewhere else. I missed him on last weekend's hike, as slow as he would have been. His front legs are ready to play, but his back legs increasingly betray him. I think maybe I'll find a nice flat hike for us on Saturday, for an hour or two. I hope he can hang on until the end of the year so that I can spend most days with him.

But that's getting ahead of things.

Posted by Chris Clarke at February 7, 2006 09:52 PM TrackBack URL for this entry:
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Comments

Really? Hurray hurrah!

Posted by: Allison at February 7, 2006 10:22 PM
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Announcement? When is "before long"?

Posted by: Carrie at February 8, 2006 08:52 AM
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Great to hear Zeke is still up for those walks.

Tito (my shared-ownership 16-year-old dog) just survived a near-death experience -- I learned that the difference between a dying old dog and a really sick old dog is absolutely indistinguishable, and the only way to find out which you have is to just wait and hope.

Fortunately, Tito's dad-of-record decided to wait ... and our sick old dog got well again, and is happily (!) back on his twice-a-day hike schedule.

And every day is a treasure.

Posted by: Hank Fox at February 8, 2006 09:40 AM
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tease

Posted by: Janeen at February 8, 2006 10:35 AM
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Thanks for the walk down Sansome Street Chris. I took the walk you described dozens of times during the 1980s when my studio was a block from the Earth Island offices on Sansome and Broadway.
Sometimes I think that the real lovers of children are the people who don't have any. In a different world I'd like a dozen; as it is I took myself out of the breeding population (surgically) while still in my mid twenties.'
And as Tito's "dad of record" go find that old friend of yours a nice flat walk. Tito and I just got back from ours, and it made the day worthwhile. Fisher tracks to snort and follow!

Posted by: OGeorge at February 8, 2006 12:09 PM
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I have been quite cranky lately, pissy about the way in which too many of my peers seem to want to think things are okay, arguing that optimism is the best way to handle our national problems. After a particularly snarky morning yesterday, my dearest friend and i took off for a long hike across the ridges and down to the confluence of the Little Spokane and Spokane rivers (we couldn't hike the river trails since they were mostly underwater--all floodgates in the Columbia basin are fully open). It felt so good to climb and descend and scramble through the overgrowth: trying to sneak up on the whitetail deer; watching bald eagles and ospreys fishing; spooking ground and tree squirrels, wild turkeys, chuckers (grouse), and quietly nesting honkers (local Canadian geese). I just felt so much kinder and gentler.

Then this morning a professor friend of mine sent me this website and suggested i let it flow through me. Wow. I won't give up the fight to save the constitution, but i am much more calm about how to go about it.

For all of your viewing and listening pleasure.

http://www.ashesandsnow.org/

Posted by: spyder at February 8, 2006 04:31 PM
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I left a gift for you on my blog, Chris. I hope you check it out.

Posted by: Rita Xavier at February 9, 2006 06:13 PM
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