Monday, July 9, 2012

Hiking Point Richmond

April 21, 2012

CY goes around the world to climb mountains while I go around the world to eat. An avid member of the Sierra Club, CY asked if I wanted to be dropped off at a mall or go on an easy historic walk organized by the club around Point Richmond, a suburban town in San Francisco. I've never been the sportive type but I am a nature person and the promise of an easy walk in a small town didn't sound too arduous and I could always go shopping the next day. I didn't have any sort of running shoes and CY's sneakers were too small for me but since it was to be an easy walk, I figured my soft leather flats should be fine. Of course when we got to the meeting point in Pt Richmond, I stood out like a sore thumb with my "cute shoes" (that's what one lady said to me), no back pack or walking stick or even a good hat. I only had a new cap that I had bought at Pixar days earlier. Some people were wearing hiking shoes.

And then we starting walking. It turned out that we weren't just walking around town. We were going up the mountains to look out to the town, the port and SF in the distance. The temperature was in the high 70s, perfect, but it was bright and sunny which was not my favorite kind of weather. I came from a country that has sunshine 300 days of the year and the last thing I wanted was a tan.

About 34 of us started the walk up steep roads with beautiful houses and scenery on both sides. It was a Saturday and people were still sleeping in even though it was about 10:30 am.

Past the houses, we walked on an open path in the mountains. It got really hot.

This was the hardest part of the walk. It was so steep going up (you can't see the bottom of the road in the photo above) that I thought I wouldn't make it. I looked back and saw a group of 5 behind me and I felt better.

We got to the highest point and stopped there for about half an hour (at mid day!) as our leader (in blue safari shirt; forgotten his name, but he was very knowledgeable about the place) told us about Point Richmond's history. Alcatraz was in the distance, so were all the bridges. A lady who had brought her 6 month old baby on the walk left after this, and a man suffered from dehydration and had to rest. I was amazed I didn't pass out.

My cute shoes. The right shoe got wet when I stepped into a mud pool and the left got stained in NYC a week later when some idiot customer in Sephora left a bottle of nail polish unscrewed and I picked it up. So I came home with a mud-stained right shoe and a red-stained left shoe. As if that wasn't bad enough, Vero washed and scrubbed the shoes and all those gold dots came off. This pair of flats, which I didn't know were knockoff Skechers until I got to the States, cost RM200 but the real Skechers were only USD45/RM135.


Going down was easier. The picnic area is where the pond is.

We got to the picnic area and everybody took their packed lunches out to share.


I didn't expect it but the lunch was delicious. It wasn't because I was hungry; the food was really really good. The leader even brought home made lemonade and he made the pasta dish, the lasagna and the chicken. He was super organized too, because he brought along plastic boxes for all the used plates and cutlery.

Across from the picnic area was the Golden Gate Model Railroad Museum. Nothing much there except models of the railway lines in the US but the Americans were all so interested and eager to hear about their railways while I sat and waited because I didn't know Santa Fe from Santa Claus.

After lunch, some of the group drove home while the rest of us had to walk all the way back to our cars parked in the town. I just felt like such a wimp because nobody complained but I really thought of hitch-hiking a car back. But I walked on, and again was awarded by beautiful scenery so it was really worth it.

Stopped again, this time to talk about the tunnel...I wished I had an umbrella. I wonder what they would have done to me if I stuck an unbrella out.

So many beautiful properties in Pt Richmond.

We visited the town's oldest bar.

And the dentist. I don't know why they stopped at the dentist's because I was standing in the shade across the street.

Then we got near to the park where our cars were and they stopped again, the leader talking about the significance of the railway. I hurried to the stores across the street and sat by the road, thoroughly wasted. We had walked about 5 hours, not counting the one-hour lunch break.

The Plunge is Pt Richmond's swim center. I learnt a new word that day, 'natatorium', Latin for swimming pool.

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I enjoyed myself thoroughly. I wish we have Sierra Clubs too and nature walks in Malaysia but it'd be a torture to walk in the humid heat. I still have tan marks on my feet to remind me of that nice day in Pt Richmond. So glad I went hiking instead of shopping.


b said...

well done!

katCL said...

Terri, I am really enjoying your detailed account of your US trip. Hahaha.. you make it sound like it's the best place on earth to call home!!

I don't know how accurate it is as it is mostly based on what I read here, but it would seem that many people set up a business based on their passion, rather than just a mean to earn a living. The products, the store concept and layout - all show dedication and passion for what they are doing. And it is a pleasure to patronise such stores as they are actually proud of their goods! :)

On a more serious note, I was so impressed on your postings on the Ivy League universities there. I know my kids have the capabilities to go far (their father was Penang state top student during his time 30 years ago..) and I really want to give them the opportunity to reach for the stars! AU has always been in the plan but now we have to seriously look into how we can get them to US instead!! :D

terri@adailyobsession said...

b: *bows*

kat: oh wow, tell ur hubs he must keep up his standards! i wish i sent my kids to the states instead. i met many many ppl who study in the top schools and it's so daunting yet inspiring. make sure your kids work at extra-co and volunteer work, bc they aren't looking at marks only. like i said, aim high!

tina said...

Terri, you are so funny and cute in some of your description!

Ciss said...

beautiful pictures and details. thanks!

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