Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Jane Huber

Went to REI — a rather upscale outdoors/adventure store — last night to hear Jane Huber speak on her favourite spring hikes. Jane Huber is, the website from which we've drawn ideas, and often routes, for many hikes.

Unfortunately, finding the store was a bit of an adventure in itself; it was pouring with rain, which always seems to make for much more difficult driving here than it did in the UK. (Roads here get very shiny when they're wet, making it hard to distinguish lane markings; and city driving here is all about being in the right lane at the right time.) For future reference: REI is at the back of the Willows and isn't visible from the road.

Anyway, we arrive some 5 or 10 minutes late and the slideshow and talk is already under way; we slip in quietly and sheepishly at the back. She's not at all how I imagined her in person: I'd envisioned some lanky super-fit hiking freak, while in fact she's rather more short, squat, and easy-going.

The talk is a little too much of a breakneck tour for me; she's chosen some 35 hikes from all around the Bay Area, which means that none of them gets very much time. I'd rather have heard more detail on fewer hikes. But there are lots of ideas here. A number of hikes on Mount Tamalpais, which everyone is telling me I should visit; a number at Point Reyes; lots of county parks in San Mateo; and a big recommendation (and a wonderful picture, which I've been unable to find on her site) for Big Basin Redwoods.

And speaking of photos: they're much more effective projected than they are in thumbnail or mid-size form on her website. I'm beginning to lust after a digital camera rather than an iPod...