Since I’ve taken a long-term sub position teaching 5th grade, I haven’t been walking Berkeley’s paths. (Or attending my hip-hop class or going to Playreaders at the library–this making a living thing is so time-consuming…) But I managed to squeeze in a walk up Vine Lane (#105) in the middle of a Sunday.
Vine Lane is the pedestrian continuation of Vine Street from Hawthorne Terrace up to Euclid Avenue. The upper end has a lovely entrance with the name stretching across and above the walkway. A black-tar path with a few sets of steps and a sturdy metal railing for the steeper portions, Vine Lane is a pleasant stroll bordered by bamboo, ivy-covered fences, trumpet vine, and broad-leaved trees.
Off to one side is a little bricked walkway that leads to a house, adorned with plants and a cow skull. The other side opens onto a car port halfway up. Today I actually saw two other people using the path in front of me, enjoying the sunny, breezy autumn day. Rain had been forecast, but someone apparently forgot to tell the clouds because it was blue sky as far as the eye could see.
It being an October in an even-numbered year, I encountered dozens of yard signs supporting local candidates for mayor and city council on my walk to and from my car, but Vine Lane was thankfully void of any signage. In fact, it was a nice break from all things political. During my stroll, I never once thought about Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton. I just walked and enjoyed living in the beautiful temperate Bay Area. And I suppose that is one of the reasons that I walk Berkeley’s paths.