Thursday, September 8, 2022

Sweet Fog


Sun & Fog at Point Reyes

Back in high school I'd go over to a friend's house and we'd listen to his George Carlin records, and one of Carlin's bits was about phrases that no one has ever said before, like, "Hand me that piano." I think of Carlin's joke from time to time, like when I'm thinking about how much I'm looking forward to having the fog blow in. 

In my neighborhood, a sunny day is an almost magical thing. Who could want that nasty bone-chilling fog to blow in?! But there does come a point where enough is enough, and for me, so accustomed to San Francisco's narrow temperature range, that point comes well before the mercury reaches triple digits.

After my morning walk and bike ride yesterday I still felt frisky enough, despite sweating profusely, to plan a bike ride up to Mt. Tam today. It seemed like it might be interesting to test myself in the heat for five hours of biking and hiking. But later in the day I read a couple of news stories about people dying in the heat and figured I should show the heat more respect and wait until the fog returns, hopefully tomorrow. 

Half a lifetime ago I would do a twenty-mile bike ride after work on the flat, country roads around Davis, and when the temperature shot up to 115 degrees one day I decided to ride anyway, just for the adventure of it. I soaked a t-shirt in water and wrapped it around my head and took off with two full water bottles. The ride usually took about an hour, but even in that short time I got so hot that I stopped to re-soak my headband t-shirt in farm ditch-water, twice. And when I got back to Davis I went to the pool to cool off and recover.

I've had other experiences of learning respect for excessive heat, so even though I still feel that adventurous spirit, I'm worried about my mind writing checks my body can't cash. I'll tell myself that discretion is the better part of valor, even if it feels like I chickened out. 

When I began my walk today at around 8 a.m. I had second thoughts. It wasn't all that hot after all. But by the time I was climbing back up the hill about ninety minutes later I felt like I'd made the right decision. Maybe tomorrow San Francisco will experience the sweet spot of fog and sun like I found one September morning out at Pt. Reyes.

Pierce Ranch

Facing the Sun with Back to the Fog

Fog Jewelry

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