Although today I spent about 3 hours hiking up and down hills in gravel, dust and mud, today was nothing like yesterday! Yesterday I felt the excitement of the unknown trail, anticipating that hidden natural treasures of ferns, waterfalls and streams. At the top of Mt. Tamalpais, the satisfaction of reaching the top and feeling that is was “all down hill” from here was great, even if it was not an easy descent.

Today was hiking “at home.”  We live in a small town, surrounded by fields of tomatoes, barley, wheat, corn sunflowers as well as vineyards.  Parking at a friend’s farm, we mentally mapped out a loop that we could take, then promptly changed our minds and just wandered! For a time we were hiking on a road I assumed was a private road that our farmer friend doesn’t use much because there were two tracks for tires, each about 10 inches wide. On either side and down the middle were weeds at least a foot high.  Turns out we were hiking on a County road! I don’t think that anybody who lives in LA or San Francisco would really believe that this kind of scene exists in California… it does!

When we figured our road was a dead end, we turned around and headed toward a nearby pond.  We crisscrossed several vineyards with grapevines that had already leafed out. After two hours of hiking, we sat down in the shade of some add-looking cement pipes standing on end to rest. Then, trekked back to the truck. On the way back, Tony’s eagle eyes spotted tender sweet peas and faba beans, which we all tasted.

Total time on the road was 3 hours, with our packs. We tried out our walking sticks, coming to realize that they really help on the way up hills, even if they aren’t steep.  My calves and hip flexors were singing to me after two days of hiking and I’m wondering what if the “singing” will turn into screaming after 6 or 8 hours of walking on the Camino?!