My troop on Wednesday morning consisted of our big old red coon hound, Rufus; our 65-pound fur ball with boundless energy, Ruby; and our little schnauzer/ terrier mix foster, whom we renamed Zazzie because her original name was the same as our daughter’s best friend, which would have been too confusing.
Dogs have their own reasons for loving the Bulb: the puddles after it rains, the rocky terrain, the refreshingly cold bay water, and the network of interesting trails. (Rufus also enjoys a variety of smells that I’m not even aware of.) I love it for the artwork that appears out of nowhere; for the gorgeous views; and for the opportunity to experience this unique combination of nature, cultivated park, and dumping ground for interesting and colorful refuse.
It was rather quiet. Lone shore birds skimmed the water’s surface or posed on rocks in lagoons. Single snails made their own trails perpendicular to the ones created by the park service, crossing our path more than once. A few other dogs and their human companions greeted us with nods and smiles. A dedicated jogger and a cyclist each made cameo appearances.
Ruby could not resist bounding over the rocky shore to go for a swim in the bay, while Zazzie watched from her perch beside the walkway and Rufus kept a respectful distance. It did not feel as if we were just off a major freeway, but we were. I knew the cars and semis were close by, but I couldn’t hear them. The bay glistened, silver on blue, between the Bulb and Golden Gate Fields racetracks. To the south was downtown Oakland, and off to the southwest stood the Bay Bridge and San Francisco, the City by the Bay. Such busy places all around us but far enough away to be scenic rather than noisy.
After taking in a few moments of serenity, we piled into Red Emma (my husband’s Rav 4) and headed east back to Berkeley, where we would resume the rest of our day. But for just an hour, my compatriots and I were explorers.