I had been alternately sad and enraged for three days. The events in Baton Rouge, St. Paul, and Dallas had happened one on top of the other, and by Friday I was feeling hopeless and adrift. Rather than wallowing in disturbing footage and Facebook posts, I decided to close my laptop and try to enjoy the beautiful July afternoon.
I was happily surprised when my husband, Dave, took a break from work and joined me. We parked on Shasta Road where we saw a Little Free Library (2877 Shasta) before we reached our first path of the day.
At the spot where Shasta takes a sharp turn to the right, one can either turn left onto Sterling Avenue or walk up Shasta Path (#64).
Although it begins with a few intrusively placed cables providing ground support for some power lines, we quickly moved beyond them. The first several steps were accompanied by a curved railing that disappeared once we were between the houses, but the path was not particularly steep or uneven, so I didn’t miss the extra support. In fact, it was a rather easy climb with intermittent flat terrain, with more shade than sun, which made for a leisurely and comfortable ramble.
Adjacent to the path on the right side going up was a contraption that is apparently part of a frisbee golf course. It looked unnecessarily complicated for its ultimate purpose. But I don’t play the game, so what do I know? I just hope that its proximity to the path doesn’t mean that path wanderers are likely to get sideswiped by an errant frisbee.
Once we reached Miller Avenue, we turned west and passed the entrance to Stoddard Path to the north, which I plan to visit soon.
Stevenson Path has an upper part (#62) and a lower part (#61) with a jog north between the two. The people who live up here have an amazing view of the bay, the bridge, and San Francisco. And occasionally an opening between houses allows a path wanderer to appreciate it too.
The top part of Stevenson Path is enclosed by gates. I don’t know if these gates were put up by the neighboring residents to keep out deer or discourage anyone but serious path wanderers, but they didn’t prevent us from continuing.
Meandering occasionally to make way for a deck on one side or a tree on the other, it was a pleasant walk under dappled light, the steps’ edges softened by surrounding grasses.
At one point the path seemed to disappear, hidden by enthusiastic ground cover, but once it started downhill again, railroad ties showed us the way through. After a long stretch of gentle sloping, the path ends in a steep set of switchbacks that drops you onto Keeler Avenue.
It’s too bad that Shasta Walk (on the list as #63) hasn’t been built yet because we would have taken it to shorten our walk back to the car. On the other hand, if we’d been able to take Shasta Walk, we might not have seen either the toy Jeep hauling a wagon out in a front yard or the huge fish hanging just inside someone’s fenced-in porch. (I don’t usually take photos that peek inside people’s homes, but this fish was clearly put next to big windows for a reason, right?)
It’s true that taking a walk doesn’t solve the world’s problems, but it provides some restful moments to clear the mind so we can rejoin society a tiny bit more bolstered by our connections to the outdoors and to our neighbors.
Peace be with you all.