01 May 2009

Safe Travels

Sunday we rode up to the Albany Bulb, the man-made trash heap turned peninsula park up north of Berkeley for a soiree in honor of Kurt and Hubert before they depart on an epic bike ride. Multi-national, and multi-continental for Kurt. It was my first time visiting the Bulb, though I'd heard quite a bit about it: a pile of trash from the 1906 Earthquake grown almost completely over in flora. We were able to follow the Bay Trail most of the way up at right about the time of sundown, an impressive trick intended to woo Lauren. I think it worked.

The trail out along the bulb was a bit rocky, and tired (literally, tires buried in the ground like boulders) and we had to walk a stretch of it that was too mountainous for our road bikes. After some brief wandering through a grove of wild fennel, we made it to the clearing just as the light was waning and took in as much as we could.

There were bikes walled up along the outer edge and people all over the place, dogs all around and did I mention all the bikes? Someone (Kurt, probably, who crafted my new front bike rack is even more unstoppable than I am when it comes to hauling) carried an entire keg of Sierra Nevada out by bicycle. (!) Meanwhile, all this mangled, gnarled metal embedded into the landscape hung around the party like vines, making it hard to decipher boundaries and depth. Hall and Oates playing on the boombox.

There was some more contemporary trash strewn here and there, brought out here by other punks over the years. And all of it manages to enrich the quality of the natural space; an extraordinary case study for a landscape architect, for sure.

Before long, the fire was raging and the air had turned chilly. So we huddled and chatted and nibbled on puppy chow and drank a few and then before the stroke of 11 wandered back out and headed for civilization again by the glow of our bike lights. The whole evening was so unreal that I might assume I'd dreamt it, except for how the next morning my clothes smelled of bacon, the way they do after camping.

And looking back through the pictures, the firelight makes everything even more romantic.

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