Hike 4 – Showdown with Cows at King’s Canyon, August 8, 2009
Lt. Cracker (not his real name but I’m saving the story about how he got this name as one of the leaders of the ill-fated Donut Revolution for a later episode), my occasional hiking partner joined me on the fourth hike of this project. We decided on a relatively easy hike called the King’s Canyon Loop in the Upper San Leandro Reservoir in the East Bay. Since Lt. Cracker is less extreme than me, we agreed to meet at the Valle Vista Staging Area trailhead at 8:30 AM.
To get to the trailhead, I drove through the bedroom communities of Orinda and Moraga. I had not cruised through these towns in years and decided to arouse their residents by giving them a rise and shine call through the car stereo. Driving at the painfully slow 35 mph speed limit, I left behind a convulsion of sound waves produced by Sleepy Horses. You can listen to their song “Echoes” here and until recently, download their whole album for free at their website. The download link is broken now.
The song gets going after almost two minutes, starts cooking after four and lasts about eight. It sounds better the louder it’s played.
Just before I got to the trailhead I saw an old Hispanic man thumbing a ride. I wanted to stop and pick him up but my drive was coming to an end so it was pointless to stop. Seeing him got me thinking about a college student I’d picked up recently. In the early awkward moments of the ride I told him where I lived and that relaxed him immediately. He had grown up in Moraga and since I live in a neighboring community, he figured I was like any of his harmless neighbors and not Satan disguised as a smiling immigrant listening to Neil Young on the stereo.