Fourth of July weekend, I spent in Sacramento with my best friend. He moved there at the beginning of the year to start school at Sac State, and has spent many a conversation trying to talk me into moving there with him. Not happening. I grew up in Stockton, I have had my fill of central valley living. However, I promised I’d go visit him one of these days, and well, I needed a weekend away from home and this was it.
While we spent most of the daylight indoors (sleeping like the dead to avoid the heat, of course), later in the afternoon once the heat waves had finally taken a chill pill before nightfall, we’d venture out.
We ended up in Placerville. I haven’t been there in years, not since I was a kid and my dad liked taking up on Saturday road trips to various places in Northern California. Placerville is an old mining town, and from the looks of it, it’s still very proud of that fact. So there we wandered for a couple of hours, walked up this dirt path to nowhere before walking back to town, at which point I ended up with a thankfully short bloody nose. Oh joy. Due to the air being so dry there, it was inevitable. Once we’d gone from one end of town to the other, we jumped back in the car and headed further north.
Pollock Pines was the next stop, although instead of left, we went right, and just followed the road until we found a lake. A lake neither of us knew existed and were therefore curious. Jenkinson Lake was fairly buzzing with activity, as there were campers boating and kayaking, and at the far side of the lake, across from the spot we sat, there were people still swimming and playing around in the last hour of sunset.
Now, from the spot we parked, the hill didn’t look as steep as it felt. It really wasn’t. We used to “hike” the hills of San Francisco until 5am on summer nights like this and back then it was nothing for us. Coit Tower was a midnight snack and my favorite way to test my stamina and endurance when feeling particularly sleep deprived and caffeinated. This is the friend who had once dubbed me “Kenyan legs” for how much I loved to run and walk all over, and go hiking anywhere and everywhere.
We hit the bottom of this hill on the lake shore and it was all fine and dandy, picking our way through old logs and rocks, evidence of the fact California is (always, I swear, always) in a drought. I got a few decent photos, we sat and talked for a while, watched a mother duck follow her baby around, joked about poor life decisions, and eventually headed back to the point we climbed down.
This is the point in time we realized just how out of shape we were. That hill became Everest, and by the time we reached the top of the hill near the car, I wanted to collapse and die, and sleep like the dead. Which, on the way back to his apartment, I pretty much did. But it was nice, and the stir fry we made for dinner tasted so much better because of it. So now, I’m a little more resolved to keep up my exercises and small workout, and being a little more consistent with my runs. I want to get back in shape and eat hikes for breakfast again.