One of my favorite weekend day activities is to escape the city and head out into the hills for exercise, fresh air, and sunshine. We have so many great options in the Bay Area, but I’m always drawn back to Mt. Tam. I love working up a sweat and getting covered in mud on the 2571 ft climb from Stinson Beach to the top of the mountain, and thanks to my commitment to fitness, I never doubt I’ll make it to the top without stopping.
Along the way, you get ocean views, forests, creeks, and a ten-foot ladder. At the top, you emerge onto grassy, sunny hillsides, where you stare back at fog-blanketed San Francisco.
I challenge anyone in that moment to look on the stunning beauty and feel anything but gratitute for living here, for being physically able to make the climb, for being lucky to have those willing to climb with you.
The deepening of friendships and relationships as you casually chat about anything and everything while surrounded by the beauty of nature makes it a truly magical day. The friendliness of fellow hikers–be it a warm smile, a hello, or memorable conversations about travel recommendations and our mutual love of both San Francisco and the mountain–is a reward unto itself. And, of course, there’s the reward at the end: enjoying a beer knowing you’ve done something great for your body and your soul.
When I’m out there, I don’t want to just hug a tree. I’d wrap my arms around the entire Mountain if I could.