Recently I was at a housewarming party for a friend I hadn’t seen in a long time. He and I met about 13 years ago while studying math at the University of California at Santa Barbara, and then went to grad schools thousands of miles apart. I believe we stayed in touch for a few years even before the miracle of Facebook, but the site is certainly the reason I knew he was now living in San Francisco and moving into a new apartment. The thing that always amuses me the most when seeing people from the distant past is the difference in what we remember: he told me stories from college I had long since forgotten.
At the party I met a lot of people who share my interests, including my love of the outdoors. I learned while chatting with new acquaintances that Mission Peak in Fremont is a popular Bay Area hike. When I went home, I found the hike in the book Bay Area Hiker: 60 Hikes within 60 Miles, which I’ve been slowly working my way through. The following weekend I embarked on the reasonably short hike with two of my guy friends.
It was incredibly hot in Fremont in July, and although I wore sunscreen I found myself sunburnt by the end of the hike. The trail was boring, dusty, had constant elevation gain, no shade, and was incredibly crowded. I’m glad I can check Mission Peak off my list, but it seems highly unlikely I’d ever return.
However, after completing my last few adventures solo, it was a really nice change of pace to hike with friends. We talked about our personal and professional lives, joked about how there was a line to take a picture with the peak-marker, and generally enjoyed ourselves.
Although the shape of my life feels far from ideal at the moment, I am constantly grateful for the people who continue to be apart of it. I have simply been blessed when it comes to friendship. Good people make the most tedious of adventures fun days to remember.