I hate to divulge my neighborhood's best-kept secret for a quick outdoor fix, so I must apologize in advance to all my Presidio Heights homies for inviting the masses to overrun our perfect little walkabout. Here goes: To get to the Ecology Trail in the Presidio, I jump over the wall at the northernmost point of Cherry Street, and prance just a few paces to the first of many Hansel-and-Gretel moments on this 1.4-mile hike: a trailhead flanked by towering, vine-covered eucalyptus trees. However, a bag of breadcrumbs won't be necessary since the footpath—which meanders in and out of the sunshine, through shady forests and grassy clearings—is distinctly marked.
This Saturday, six Bay Area athletes will attempt something that many (most?) people would consider totally insane: swimming from the Farallon Islands to the Golden Gate Bridge – a 30 mile distance through frigid, great white shark infested waters (fun fact: this region of the California coast is called the “Red Triangle” on account of its famed inhabitants. You know, because red is the color of blood.) They would be the first relay team ever to accomplish the feat.
Let me guess—you love to sail, but you a) don't have a vessel at your disposal; b) don't have friends who have vessels at their disposal; c) always get sidetracked on your way to the snooty sailing club. Gotcha. May I suggest just one more way to satisfy your sailing bug? Head to Summer Sailstice this weekend just off Treasure Island to celebrate the longest days of the year, watch a mini-regatta, take part in a treasure hunt and sail for free. Yes, free. First come, first served. The dock opens at 11 AM on Saturday, June 19.
In my own strange way, I view loop hikes as the most efficient use of time, only because you don't need to backtrack on the same trail just to return to your starting point. Loop hikes cover the most ground and get you seeing more of the forest or grasslands or whatever you're traversing. I know this may not make any sense to those of you out there who see no problem walking the same old path—for your sake, I hope this doesn't translate into other areas of your life. Anyway, I digress.
Sadly, "Yogapalooza," while a moniker that seems very 7x7, was surprisingly not invented by any of our writers. However, the word has inspired this round-up of Sunday yoga events around the Bay, to encourage low-impact workouts on the day of rest, the way (insert name of omnipotent spiritual icon here) intended.
Number one on the list: the actual Yogapalooza, an event occurring simutaneously in Los Angeles, New York, San Diego and San Francisco (at YogaWorks on Divisadero) to benefit YogaBear, which provides free rehabilitation services for cancer patients. A $15 all-day pass gets you in to three gentle-yoga classes and a silent auction.
As a former awkward teenage girl supreme who suffered in silence with all of her insecurities, I can appreciate the work that Alameda-based Girls Inc. of the Island City does to "inspire all girls to be smart, strong, and bold." This Saturday, women's fitness-gear retailer, See Jane Run, is sponsoring a half-marathon and 5K race starting at Crown Beach in Alameda. A portion of each registration (June 3 is the last day to sign up) goes to Girls Inc. What do you get?
On March 25th, the Greater San Francisco Bay Area chapter of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society launched this year's search for the Man and Woman of the Year with a lively celebration at Harry Denton's Starlight Room. The candidates were all smiles as they mingled with special guests of honor -- Boy of the Year Adam Joseph Boegel, and Girl of the Year Stella Jade -- both of whom are brave blood cancer survivors.
The annual competition -- now in its 20th year -- involves truly compassionate local men and women who work to raise funds to support thousands of patients battling leukemia, lymphoma and myeloma.
Before I sign off for the long weekend (although I've been mentally checked out of this week since, oh, Monday), I thought I'd leave you with a few Memorial Weekend space fillers to close the gaps in your plans. Until next week, wishing you beau temps for your barbecues!
There's a full moon coming up later this week—on Thursday, May 27, to be precise—and, in keeping with traditions that date back to ancient civilizations and cultures, the Bay Area is playing host to a few full-moon events that reinforce the kumbaya connection with the outdoors. Even if you're not influenced by lunar phases, some nighttime nature exploration is bound to alleviate something—a bad mood, a little cabin fever, lower back pain...whatever. Just get out there and let the moon illuminate your adventures.
Because of the impending apocolypse, it's probably a good idea to brush up on your foraging skills since it's likely Bi-Rite or Whole Foods won't be up and running when the big earthquake hits. (Or maybe just until universal healthcare gets fully operational and meds are available to all.) Tellur Fenner of the Blue Wind Botanical Medicinal Clinic in Oakland teaches regular foraging classes in public parks and gardens across the Bay Area (the next classes happen this weekend in Berkeley and Oakland) that combine light hiking with hands-on instruction on California's edible and medicinal plants.