Trip 2010 – Bay Area Week 1

After an unforgettable but brief visit to the coastal redwoods, I wound my way south to Palo Alto. My college friend, Ben Griggs, put me up in his guestroom for the next two weeks. I revisited some familiar trees from my trip here two years ago, and found plenty of new ones.

After the Redwoods, climbing a little tree in the city just doesn’t seem to have the same grandeur. And now, looking back over a year ago with only my memory to serve as the narrator of this journey, much has been lost. Where I didn’t take pictures I can only guess as to where I climbed. I believe I climbed in front of the Art Museum on the Stanford Campus on the 7th. And I climbed a tree some where near Ben’s old apartment in Palo Alto on the 9th. I believe those are the only holes I need to fill. I was in a strange mind on some days, but as the beautiful California days rolled on I picked up my camera more and more and felt my spirits rise as I searched further for challenging trees.


Here in the Mission District of San Francisco, I climbed on a sunny evening after a long walk around with Rachel.


Ben and I were invited to a pre-game party in the city, then walked to the Giants game. We had the highest seats but thankfully no bloody noses. Without my contacts I would have seen nothing but the people around me. As it was, I didn’t pay much attention anyway. Baseball isn’t my game…but the experience was a good one.

Hopping off the train in Palo Alto, Ben watched as I climbed a tree near the entrance of the long promenade of Stanford’s main campus.


A block or two down University Ave. in Palo Alto. The silhouettes of palm trees around the grand lit house is so foreign to me.


A night walk with Ben and Macy. They talked quietly as I took care of my daily arboreal practice. Florescent lights from the convenient store just next to the tree were too bright but made for easier shots from the high branches.


Ben and I drove through the East Bay and we stopped at this park. This collection of posts is some art piece. No info to tell me what it was about though.

I think this was the day we met Ben’s grandfather, uncle and cousin for a sailboat trip around the Bay. Then to a fancy private club for a glass of whiskey before our nice Italian dinner. If it wasn’t this day, no matter, it was around then. And we all got driven around in a Rolls Royce. Surreal. Plus I was wearing Ben’s sport coat and if anyone knows Ben, he’s MUCH bigger than me.

I also climbed a tree in Palo Alto before we left. It feels good to me to have days where my tree climb wasn’t the most exciting thing I did.


A walk from Ben’s to a nearby playground in Palo Alto with his roommates and a fellow high school teacher of his. The playground had a large concrete slide that was 8 feet wide. It wasn’t very slippery so there were little torn up pieces of cardboard all strewed about that you had to use as a sliding aide. Should have taken a picture of that. Beautiful clear night, however.


Tax Day. I remember driving to the Tesla dealership to see the fancy all-electric roadsters. They were pretty sweet. Along the way we passed a hoard of old white people carrying Tea Party signs and shouting at cars. Blecht.

Later that evening Ben, Macy and I went to a talk on the future of education at Stanford. We walked around the campus and saw some amazing plants in their arboretum. But Ben and I were more interested in trying to get some cool shots of him jumping for his band photos.

And, of course, I climbed a tree that night. Somewhere a few blocks from Ben’s. It was high up, I transferred into a smaller tree on the way down. I remember feeling spry.

This Trip 2010 catch up will soon conclude. I apologize for this long hiatus and very belated report. My relationship with blogging and this tree-climbing project has been a long and ever-changing one. The end is nigh.