Simple Pleasures


5pm Thursday afternoon

Carrie (via text): Chilling by the lake if you want to join.

Me:  Where are you?  I’m coming.

Bought half a pizza at Arizmendi, a couple beers from TJ’s and parked our bikes along the lake.

Dinner and a sunset with a good friend – Lake Merritt style


Redwood Ridge Trail

A 3 mile hike one afternoon in February in Redwood Regional Park, Oakland CA. I’d give myself a C- for the photo quality, but hopefully you get the idea….

Redwoods along a ridgeline.

"Whew. That is soo fricking beautiful." Kassie says to Kentucky as they stop to take a quick picture.


A Friday evening stroll

My good friend Graham was in town for a month, staying out in the Outer Richmond. We took a walk to Sutro Heights one Friday evening a couple weeks ago.  A pretty epic walk; one I used to do with him a lot when we both lived in the city.

Remnants of a Mansion on the edge of the world, Sutro Heights, San Francisco, CA

Kentucky is leading the way

View of Ocean Beach from Sutro Heights (still learning how to master the panaromic feature on my phone's camera)


Golden Energy

The name of this ship is "Golden Energy," which seemed so appropo on that warm, sunny day as we watched it go under the Golden Gate Bridge and depart across the Pacific.

Baker Beach, San Francisco, CA – Saturday, January 28th.  I was lucky enough to live across the street from this beach when I first moved to San Francisco back in 2002.   This is seriously one of my favorite places on the planet.

My most recent visit to this beach was a few weekends ago with my good friend, Carrie.   A picnic on the beach with supplies from our favorite local deli, Angelinas.  Some walking, some throwing the tennis ball for Kentucky, and mostly just catching up and gazing out onto the Pacific.


New Years Day

A six mile trek from Claudia's Cabin to Julia Pfiffer State Beach, New Years Day, 2012, Big Sur, CA


Green Hour 2012

Monica, Kentucky and I on a hike in Wildcat Canyon. Five minutes ahead on this hike, Kentucky decided to try and herd the cattle. It didn't work out so well. (Pictures to follow in future post)

I work for the National Wildlife Federation.  One of the core values they encourage for kids and adults alike is to spend an hour outside everyday.  For kids they call it “Green Hour” and recommend “unstructured play” and honestly, I think that approach can work pretty well for adults too.  I’ve decided that in 2012, I’m finally going to break my blogger-bloc (aka my aversion to writing blog posts) and share some of my green hour adventures.  I hope you enjoy them.

I’m an avid outdoor enthusiast.  I like to hike, bike, jog, walk my dog.  I try and do this daily.  Often it’s as simple as running errands on foot or bike, strolling over to my friends house, biking to yoga, but what I love to do most is explore the open spaces near where I live.

A little background.  I consider myself pretty darn privileged.  I’m white, raised middle class, great education (despite student loans), and I’ve had the best jobs since I graduated college.  I also consider myself privileged because my parents instilled a deep respect and enthusiasm for the outdoors from an early age.  Hiking while I was an infant in my dad’s back pack, skiing as soon as I could walk, growing up in a place where the wilderness was literally at my doorstep.

I was raised in a rural, logging community in the Pacific Northwest.  The wilderness was literally at my doorstep and I took full advantage of this.  In my adult life, I’ve lived in some of the greatest cities in our country – namely San Francisco, D.C. and now Oakland.  Part of how I make city living work for me is that I make it a point to live near a big urban park, and I take the time to get to know the hiking, biking, and walking trips that I can go on within 20 minutes from my house.   With the help of my handy smart phone, I’m going to start sharing these adventures on this blog.  We’ll see where it takes us……


Transportation Choices

I bike.  I walk.  I drive.  I take transit sometimes.  List of reasons I choose the mode of transportation I do each day:

Arthur and I, circa 2006, photo credit: Shadia Fayne Wood

  1. Most convenient
  2. Fastest
  3. Simplest
  4. Most Enjoyable
  5. Current level of desire to exercise
  6. Its what my wife is doing
  7. Its what my friends are doing
  8. Those pesky green house gas emissions

*Top reason listed first.