From Under the Mist
We can spend long stretches of time, even years, without noticing something right under our noses.
Our autistic son’s sensory system allows him to be astoundingly in tune to tiny details of the world around him. His nose and taste buds can distinguish between different lots of the same brand of cracker, his eyes recognize the tiniest incremental difference in imagery between DVD labels for the same movie, and his aural system becomes agitated by a fluorescent light humming at the other end of the house, a sound that doesn’t even register with our ears. Yet he may be oblivious to things that seem obvious to the rest of us, whether it’s not realizing he has spaghetti sauce on his face or suddenly seeming to be deaf when asked to put an iPad away.
I like to think I’m fairly in tune to the world around me, but all of us have blind spots of some sort or another.
I love maps, especially local maps that help me find new places to hike and take photos. After years of hiking the area, surely by now we had walked every available bit of beach from San Francisco to Half Moon Bay.
One day, not up for a longer drive, I scoured a map of our familiar turf near home. I spotted a green patch on the coast that I’d never noticed before. What was this place just south of San Francisco, appearing as if by magic on my map? We headed out to see it, me with camera in hand. The misty, overcast day convinced me I’d have to come back another day for better photos.
Just off an unassuming suburban street, past a plain metal fence, an asphalt road led us to the upper edge of a deep canyon, appearing through waves of mist. This week’s Hike Notes, Avalon Canyon, introduce a stunning canyon walk that has been hidden in plain sight to us for years. Turns out that misty gray skies make Avalon Canyon all the more photogenic, revealing a subtly textured color palette on the canyon walls which highlight the dramatic descent down to the shore.
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 118: Avalon Canyon
Sharing insights and hiking highlights (Hikes, Hike Search by Area) from the special needs caregiver front in San Francisco.