Friday, January 27, 2012

There and Back Again: an Oaklander's photo tale

"I don't want any sort of adventure!" But Gandalf would not be swayed. He seemed distracted, lost in thought, referring to me as hairy even though I had recently shaved. Perhaps he was referring to my toes, of which we hobbits are justifiably quite proud. In any event, there was no changing his mind.

So after packing entirely too few provisions, I raced out the door, unsure if I would ever see my home again. I could only hope I would find a decent tavern or two during my journey, as I hadn't yet eaten my second breakfast. I hadn't even done the dishes from the first! With a long sea voyage ahead of me and because time was of the essence, I rode to the quay in the Rainbow Havens aboard the wagon of one of the 'big people' named Bart. It was a quick but comfortable trip, though I must say some of the way stations could do with a good cleaning.

I walked the short distance to the ship and set about familiarizing myself with my new surroundings. The ship seemed sturdy enough, but sensible hobbits are none too fond of boats of any sort, so I was cautious. And a good thing, too—within minutes the ship was moving. As I watched my now-distant home fade into the haze, I wondered what lay ahead.

The ship passed several islands, one looking to be almost entirely covered by a deserted castle. A much larger island appeared to be inhabited, though I could not see any people moving about. Perhaps elves were moving silently through the forest, watching us as we sailed past?

The ship entered shallower water as we neared land, and slowed I thought, to avoid the treacherous shoals. I heard later that the huge fortress on the nearby shore held thousands of prisoners, so perhaps the captain was right to sneak past, lest we join them.

The sun was beginning to set as we made port, and I was a bit apprehensive. I could no longer see my home in the distance, and what sort of strange people inhabited these lands? But the oddly pale Northern peoples were friendly enough, though. Perhaps they took me for one of their not-as-well-to-do Southron cousins.

I mounted my trusty pony Bill *1 and we proceeded up the river. As the last rays of light disappeared from the sky, I made it to my destination. The lovely and talented K and I then proceeded to a nearby pizza/pasta place tavern and settled into a good meal and a few pints of the fine local ale *2.

After such an exciting journey, the return trip seemed uneventful *3. But it was good to be home again!

more images of my journey:

*1 Yeah, I know Bill wasn't until Lord of the Rings. Work with me here!
*2 I know, I know...Lagunitas or something from Marin Brewing Company would be more local, but they didn't have it.
*3 Except for the announcement in the BART station that trains weren't stopping at West Oakland because of a 'police action'. Maybe it's just me, but 'police action' always makes me think of the euphemism for the Vietnam War.


Dawg said...

LOL!!! Loved the Lord of the Rings local travel. Did you go to Alcatraz? Kind of looks like the back side, not where the dock is? Maybe your destiny was Angel Island?

Dawg said...

I can no longer comment on your blog using my wordpress ID - vistadenada. Sorry.

Gene said...

No worries. Odd, though, that you can't comment with it any more.

Glad you enjoyed it—I enjoyed taking the trip and writing about it. Basically the trip was bike to BART, BART to Embarcadero, ferry to Larkspur, bike to San Francisco Theological Seminary in San Anselmo where K is working. And of course, back again, on the last return ferry of the night.

The ferry goes past Alcatraz and Angel Island (the larger island shown on my map), then into Larkspur passing San Quentin. said...

Wow, gorgeous shots. What a beautiful day!