We hiked for seven miles on a 5.6 mile trail, finishing it in two and a half hours, with two peaks – one over 950 feet and the other 1250 feet. There were moments during that first peak that I hated everything about hiking. My hips and lower back were in serious pain. My friend was ahead, setting the pace. I would need to stop several times, trying to catch my breath.

And when I did, I would notice we were walking thru the clouds. It was magical. When my body let me, I enjoyed it.

Luckily, there were enough plateaus to feed me the extraordinary view in Tennessee Valley, a moderately easy hike that I normally make towards the beach. This time, we turned left before the beach up the hill. Once we crossed the second hill, on our gradual descent down the last mile to the car, what I saw was my neighborhood from a vantage point I had never seen, high up and looking down. Before me, I saw Mill Valley and Sausalito, the Richmond Bridge in the far distance, the bay.

I was huffing and puffing (an understatement if ever there was one). I was happy.

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