Slipping into Spring

Icy trail in Upton SF


“Jeff Mather, you are an idiot, and you’re compounding your idiocy with lunacy! Why don’t you just turn around now?”

I had a point. There was nothing good to be gained by continuing to run down this flooded, icy trail—the same one where I took one of my worst tumbles about 10 weeks ago—just to get to a road and then turn around. My knee was lightly bleeding from a previous slip, and my shins were scraped from running through the vines and saplings on the snowy, but less slippery, edges of the trail. After running through the dewy branches, the front of my shorts and jacket were as wet as the back; I had slid down a short hill on my butt after I lost my footing.

I took some snow to clean off my knee, tossed the red lump into the trees, and turned around.

Thirty minutes and two-and-a-half miles later, I was back at the parking lot. A woman was walking in a short loop around the parking lot. “It’s too icy out there. I walked down to the trail and turned around,” she said, demonstrating better judgment—or, at the very least, less stubbornness—than I.

“Spring will be here one of these days,” I replied.

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