A Special Light
I love Mt. Tam. Before I had the opportunity to hike there, the name “Mt. Tam” reverberated with an iconic power, reflecting tales of spectacular trails, and terrifying news stories about the Mt. Tam Killer. Its place on my exploration wish list oozed both enticement and intimidation.
By the time my two sons were big enough to physically handle a Mt. Tam hike, we’d become virtually housebound by my younger son’s extreme neurosensory challenges. Getting to Mt. Tam felt like an impossible dream.
The miraculous help of our “autism whisperer” (In Memory and Thanks) got us across the Golden Gate Bridge to nearby Marin trails, but he passed away unexpectedly before we progressed to Mt. Tam. Fate then connected us with an outdoorsman special needs helper who knew many Mt. Tam trails.
After school outings meant heading across the bridge in mid afternoon. Hikes started with the sun casting long shadows, and often ended when the sun was setting (or hiking by moonlight).
With my son’s recent shift from the school system to a program that ends later in the day, opportunities to hike Mt. Tam with help are rare. I’m the main trail guide now, and getting the whole crew synchronized for a drive to a Mt. Tam trailhead can be challenging. Dodging weekend crowds also means hiking earlier in the day, when the light is less dramatic.
The magical late afternoon light that predominates my photo archives of late afternoon Mt. Tam hikes reflects my son’s dramatic growth as his world expands, on a hiking trail or anywhere.
Flickering shadows in golden light also reflect my boundless gratitude for living in a beautiful place, and having kind spirits who support us as we continue our journey.
This week’s Hike Notes, Eldridge Grade - Windy Ridge, lead readers on trails that feature the best Mt. Tam has to offer, especially when late day shadows are at play.
The long list of Hikes can be found on the Quick View Hike List and on the main Hikes page. All past Insights posts can also be viewed in the Insights/Hike Update News archives.
Check the Home page for the broader background story. If you’re not able to take one of these Northern California hikes, hopefully you can enjoy the photo galleries at the bottom of each hike page! Click Insights/Hike Update News for inspiring reflections. Please feel free to share.
New this week:
Hike Notes 116: Eldridge Grade - Windy Ridge
Sharing insights and hiking highlights (Hikes, Hike Search by Area) from the special needs caregiver front in San Francisco.