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A Walk in the Woods

I decided, instead of taking my typical hiking photos of landscapes and wide angles, I’d focus on the little things with my macro lens in Mt. Tamalpais near Bolinas, California. This experiment proved more useful than I thought.

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I forced myself to slow down. Not worry about distance, speed, and time. Instead I shifted my focus from the grander scene to the small details that surrounded me. Step-by-step, foot-by-foot, these tiny environments that had so much to offer and learn from.

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Every step I took led me to a new world, a new object to admire and be inspired by, to lose myself in the details of something that can be so easily overlooked.

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Bolinas Ridge Trail, Mt Tam, California

So much quality can be found in such a small space. I feel like within this Western world we live in we get so caught up in productivity, mass, longevity, quantification, more is more is best. When I force myself to focus on these tiny details, to slow down, I open up another world of possibility–another world to show me something new, something beautiful, something that makes the other worlds seem less immediate and overwhelming.

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Bolinas Ridge Trail, Mt Tam, California

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Golden State

Golden State Warriors Playoffs 6
Golden State Warriors 2016 Playoffs

San Francisco City Hall lights up in support of the Golden State Warriors performance in the NBA Playoffs. I couldn’t help but pull my car over, after watching game six of the Western Conference finals with my boyfriend and his mother, to play with some long exposures. It’s hard not to be completely captivated by this team’s success and, frankly, magical athleticism. In an information age, where the mainstream media is fueled by overly sensationalized anguish, it’s refreshing to see a genuinely well-oiled machine consistently make its way to the headlines.

They seem to truly care about each other and the welfare of the team as a whole. Who knew working intelligently as a team–working with all in mind, not just yourself–could be the secret ingredient to a well-functioning group of individuals. Finding out about their mindful meditation practice was something that both surprised me and gave me reassurance in the positive effects the habit can have on people. You hear the meditation success stories but to see one that is so apparent in the public eye is nothing short of impressive. Meditation isn’t only for the spiritual, it is for anyone with an ever changing and ever growing mind.

My surprise was caused by my own conflicts with sports. I was never a sports person because I associated sports with jocks–the kids I wasn’t friends with, the kids that weren’t friends with me. The Warriors are the type of team that can evoke interest and make fans out of the least likely subjects. Finding out we shared a practice was the cherry to top it all off. Maybe I’ve discovered a new interest because my boyfriend unintentionally forced it into my life, maybe it was because they truly are an inspiring and talented team; either way, I have reached a point in my life where I can allow something that I had despised to bring me hope–I stopped alienating myself and learned to let the other in, to not let my emotions prevent me from being inspired by the world outside of my narrow perspective. The Warriors don’t just represent a popular sports team, to me, they represent a pivotal moment, a moment that showed me the world in a different light.

Here’s to growing older, wiser, and forgiving the person you once were.

Alamere Falls

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Alamere Falls is a great hike for those who are able to complete ~9 miles of moderate hiking. Located in Point Reyes, the secluded destination is beloved by all Bay Area hikers. Simply follow Hwy 1 to rural roads shrouded in eucalyptus trees, followed by a dirt road, just past the Point Reyes Bird Observatory. You can enter Palomarin Trail Head as your Google Maps destination but be mindful of losing data services once you get into Point Reyes. Once you park your car in the trail head parking lot, go up the stairs and keep following signs for Coastal Trail. Along the trail, you’ll see beautiful cliffs, lush forests (especially during the rainy season), hidden lakes, and lots of wildlife. The few hills you’ll come across have a very moderate slope but will definitely give your glutes something to talk about the next day.

The trail is lined in poison ivy and poison oak so be sure to bring some Simple Green, or other degreaser, diluted in water to rinse off the irritating plant oils–or just wear pants and long sleeves! The invasive species are pretty easy to avoid until you get to the trail shoot-off that takes you out to the coast where the California beach waterfalls are located.

Follow the Alamere Falls trail and duck through arching foliage until you see blue waters. Keep heading to the right and you’ll see the upper cascades of the breath taking coastal falls.

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To get down to the beach, cross over the falls and keep moseying over to the right. You’ll hit a little slot canyon that you can boot scoot down to the sea.

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Over the years, this trail has become a pretty popular one among San Francisco Bay Area hikers, so get there early, or on a weekday, for some solitary nature therapy. Backcountry camping is also available through the Bear Valley Recreation Center for Point Reyes National Seashore. I hope Alamere Falls becomes your next hiking destination and you enjoy it as much as I did!

Butano State Park