Today is my seventieth birthday. There, I’ve said it. I have to admit, it’s a number that has been difficult to embrace. I gave some thought to going somewhere special, and in the end, I did. Right here in California.
Juliet planned a surprise hike to a place neither of us had been before. We left the house at 6:15 this morning. With Juliet dictating directions, I drove two hours north from Oakland to the Sonoma Coast. We arrived in dense fog, just as the ranger opened the gate.
Juliet didn’t tell me how long the hike would be or how far. A good thing because had she done so, I undoubtably would have protested!
It was indeed long and far. We came out from under the fog into blazing sunshine, the earth parched, the grasses golden, typical California landscape at this time of year.
The goal was the summit of Mt. Pole, a rather uninspired name for a mountain, I must say, but the view was dazzling in every direction. There were many ups and downs, the elevation gain more than thirty-six hundred feet. After more than fifteen miles and almost eight hours, we happily returned to the car, took off our boots and drove home, admiring the coastline, tired and fulfilled. It was a birthday to remember.