Sunday, January 08, 2006

I can see for miles and miles and miles and miles and miles and miles and miles and miles.

This weekend wasn't all pain and disappointment. Once again, I had one of my best hikes ever.

I feel like I'm being patronizing even bringing this up, but I want to say it anyways. Anyone who may be reading this blog to get a better idea of who Christopher Charles Horatio Xavier King III, esq. is, unfortunately is getting a very skewed view. I'm writing everything in my spare time on topics that come easily to me and that I really feel like discussing and/or know will be of interest to some readers. That tends to mean a fair amount of stuff on San Jose and video games, much less on other things. My job may be the single most important thing in my life right now, it's where I spend 45-50 hours every week and derive the greatest satisfaction, but I barely ever write about it, both for legal reasons and because I know it will be of little interest to anyone but myself. (I realize that this flies in the face of earlier assertions I've made that the blog is first and foremost a personal journal, but in all honesty, the fact that it is public does at least somewhat guide my decisions in what to post.)

Besides work, another key example is hiking. I've gone every weekend that I've been in town, except I think for one week (too much rain), and often ends up being one of the high points of my week. Yet, I don't write about it, partly because I think it would be excruciatingly boring (I know how little fun it can be to watch someone else's nature slides; hearing them talk about it would be worse; reading them write about it worse yet), and partly because my expository powers are woefully inadequate to describe the beauty of the California wilderness.

This weekend I'll make an exception, though, just because of one particular event that was SO cool: I went into a cloud! The hike was the trail to Monument Peak in Edward Levin Park. It's called Monument Peak because it's covered with radio antennae and broadcast towers. It was up about 2100' from my starting point and 2.5 hours past the trailhead; I had just started to descent along the Ridge Trail when I looked over the valley and saw this HUGE mass of cloud steadily rolling towards me. It was like something out of a horror movie, coming so gradually yet inexorably, with plenty of time for me to think "Oh wow, there's no way I'm getting away from this thing" before it enveloped me.

I wasn't scared, of course, just really excited (and pleased that it didn't look like a raincloud). It covered me, and then I was Inside. It was a surreal, almost religious experience. My visibility was cut down to about 10 feet, so I could navigate the immediate trail just fine, but lost any perspective of where I was in relation to the peak. As I climbed down large landmarks, trees and boulders, would suddenly loom forward from nowhere. While I didn't feel any droplets of rain, I received plenty of moisture during my stay.

Eventually, I hiked down below the cloudline and continued my descent. Again, the experience was rather surreal, and I'm not doing a good job of explaining the mixture of exhilaration and awe I felt. But it was really fun. Yet another thing that makes me feel so glad to be living here now.

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