January was gray and damp, and according to the weather-watchers, we had more rain in January 2016 than we had for the previous five Januaries combined. Hooray! But there was a break between storms over the weekend, so Bernalwood’s Cub Reporter and I took advantage of the sun to document the glory of Bernal Hill in full Green Mode.
To make our tour a little easier to follow, let’s use this official Ski Bernalwood trail map for navigational reference:
The Cub Reporter and I started on the south side, under a cloudless blue sky, just below Sutrito Tower. The colors were sizzling.
From there we walked toward Rock Quarry. For much of the year, this area looks like a passable facsimile of the surface of Mars. But right now, the chert formations in the quarry have grown a green peachfuzz beard:
And of course, no visit to Rock Quarry is complete without some walking meditation in the labyrinth:
Thus even more mindfully, we headed north along the western rim of the quarry, after stopping to admire another reminder that Bernal Is For Lovers:
Then we started climbing up, to take in that incredible OMFG Martian view of Sutro Tower and Noe Valley:
From there we continued north, to take in the colors and contrasts of the Owl’s Nest face. This is always one of my favorite views, but it’s so much more festive in green, don’t you think?
Then we climbed a little higher, to the fence around Sutrito Tower just above the 14 Limited face. From here, Bernalwood’s Cub Reporter took a moment to survey her hometown. (It must be tough to grow up in San Francisco, because it kind of ruins you for life):
From there we continued along the summit ridge, until we got our first view of Bernal Hill’s east half. Oh my:
We continued east, walking along the ridge beneath the Vista Pointe chairlift, toward the quiet slope of Haunted House, on the southeast part of the hill. Thick green grasses were billowing in the wind, and hundreds of yellow Oxalis were open to the sun:
Bernalwood’s Cub Reporter confessed that this is actually her favorite spot on Bernal Hill. Then she sat down in a patch of grass with a panoramic view of the 101-280 spaghetti bowl, and began to weave a garland from Oxalis flowers:
That moment was about as good as any moment gets anywhere on our planet — or any other planet, for that matter. I looked back toward the west, to appreciate the scene:
It was time to continue our survey, so we contined east along the north side of the ridge, until we hit the mysterious tree-shrub thingy that some Bernalwood readers tell us is actually a California Buckeye. Only, with so much green grass beneath it, it doesn’t seem quite so spooky at the moment:
From afar, however, the tree-shrub thingy still looks sculptural, and the intensity of the green grass makes it look even more otherworldly:
Starting today, we’re in for a few days of unsettled weather. But next time the sun comes out, take a lazy stroll on Bernal Hill to enjoy it during this period of peak seasonal engreenment. You will feel fortunate.
PHOTOS: Telstar Logistics