I had Sunday brunch plans and I was excited to be super social and meet new people… as I am an extrovert. However, due to an unforeseen hostipital visit that the host had to make, it was cancelled. I decided that I still needed to get out of the house as it was a holiday weekend and the weather was unbelievably perfect for going outside. I downloaded the app AlltheTrails and I started to find hikes close to me in Alameda. I came upon the Oakland Hills and a nice hike with good reviews at Joaquin Miller Park on Skyline Blvd. As this was my first solo hike, I wanted to make sure it was simple and I would see other humans there (aka if something happened, I wouldn’t become the next missing person). I drove up to the park and I could not believe that where I was was still Oakland. I mean, Oakland has the reputation of being sketchy-McSketchville so there’s not a big tourism market there.
There was a big forest with redwood trees and a well marked trail. To my left I saw picnic tables where I could eat my packed lunch as my end point. It wasn’t busy at all and the fog was just starting to dissipate. I began walking and everywhere I looked was pure nature (I mean duh, I was hiking at a nature park). It was exactly the getaway I needed from Netflix and my lonely house. The ground was still moist from the dew that dropped the night before and you can tell where the sun peeks through the tall trees and where it doesn’t based on where the moss, grass, and brush grew. I walked the 1.8 mile hike, that had a slight elevation incline within an hour. I had a pep in my step that I don’t remember having recently. My iPhone played music on shuffle, but I still had control over what I was hearing. A couple of times I stopped to take pictures, even though I knew they wouldn’t do the natural beauty justice.
Sometimes, the view of the bay would peek through the trees as I got closer to the edge of a hillside. I could see Oakland and East Bay, SF bay water and glimpses of the SF skyline. Those were the moments where I remembered I wasn’t in the mountains or in Humboldt or someplace with lots of trees and nature, but one of the most populated counties and areas around. I have sat in unbelievable traffic because so many people live in this area, but for an hour, I was by myself, happy and grateful as to where life ended up taking me.
In hindsight, the best part was that I was alone. I was able to walk at my own pace, take pictures (and ridiculous selfies) whenever I wanted, and simply take time to pause and reflect on the decisions I made and how grateful I was the have the opportunities presented to me. As a people pleaser, my companion’s happiness would have been more important than mine… but this time… this hike was treasured by me, myself, and I.