#FINDINGWINTER & MORE
Around 5:30am on an early Saturday morning, friends started to show up at my apartment in NOPA before heading out for a sunrise hike in Mt. Tam. To my surprise, eight people decided to say yes to my invitation—to sacrifice a weekend morning of sleeping in and join me in my quest to “find winter.”
I was chosen to participate in Mountain Hardware’s #findingwinter campaign, It’s a “celebration of winter and the lengths we go to experience it.” Check out the goodies they sent over!
We arrived at Mt. Tam, just over the Golden Gate, around 6:30am. Finding the trailhead proved to be a little harder than expected, but we eventually discovered where we were supposed to be. We got out of the cars, packed our bags, and headed up the trail… the wrong way. Oops.
After realizing the mistake about a half-mile in, we decided to keep going. Our goal, now being almost 7am in the morning, was to get as high as possible to witness the sun peek above the horizon. We stopped and turned around, seeing the sky and clouds turn a beautiful yellow and orange. We knew the spot we were in was perfect.
Then it happened. The top of the sun revealed itself, over a ridge in the East Bay. We were all silent—taking in the moment of this new day being born. Then our silence turned into “Wow’s” and “Whoa’s.”
Then the photo opp!
After 20 minutes of this, we decided to get back on the trail, to continue hiking in/around Mt. Tam.
There were 9 of us total, some people knew each other, others did not. The bigger group started to break into smaller groups, walking at their own pace down narrow trails.
Because of our wrong turn at the outset of the hike, our planned 6.7 mile hike turned into a 11.8 mile loop. This provided us more of an opportunity to find other, unexpected things, along the way;
Friends caught up with each other, in detail, about how the holidays were and how the new year was treating them.
Friends-of-friends were chatting with new people, introducing themselves to one another for the first time, finding common interests and connections that made the conversations easier to have.
Some in the group were visiting the Bay Area and were excited to explore beyond the San Francisco’s city limits.
Others in the group, myself included, were simply reintroduced to the beauty of what we have in our own backyard.
And yes, #findingwinter
The winter we found that early Saturday morning on the trails of Mt. Tam was the cool, crisp, salty air from the Pacific ocean—exactly the kind of winter the Bay Area has to offer.
We all ended the hike feeling accomplished, tired, and hungry. In Sausalito, and three pitchers of Margaritas later, we felt exactly how we wanted to feel—amazing.
Check out how other people are #findingwinter here and here.
Michelle Haft, Marc O’Brien, David Bill, Byron Hoffman, Joseph Shipp, Marc O’Brien