Friday, June 15, 2007

Summer of Hikes

I am going to Portland, OR next month, with Manjunath, where the plan is to hike Mt Hood. Manjunath and I go way back. He and I went to school together since first grade. In preparation for the hike, we are hiking various peaks in the bay area, using the invaluable Bay Area Hiker website for guidance. Last weekend, I hiked up to Eagle's Peak at Mt Diablo State Park. Tomorrow, we are going to hike Mt. St. Helena in Robert Louis Stevenson State Park, a couple hours North of San Francisco.

Pictures from last weekend's hike:

San Francisco Hippie Fest 2007: A Brief Report

Last Sunday, I checked out San Francisco's annual hippie fest, also known as the Haight-Ashbury Street Fair. A stretch of Haight St. (about 15 blocks) was closed to traffic. Live music played at both ends of the stretch. Stalls were set up on both sides of the street. By my estimation, the crowd was in the tens of thousands.

The scene was quite authentic, down to the dreadlocks, the unshaven armpits (I'm talking both sexes here), the love and peace signs, the reggae music, and such. Also highly visible were the Hare Krishnas, chanting and roving through the crowded streets, spreading their special brand of blissful slackerism. Stalls sold beads, amulets, bracelets, hemp clothing, and other trinkets that are somehow perceived to be of value by hippies. Also on sale were paraphernalia like bongs, glass pipes, hookahs, etc. for smoking, um, I don't know, tobacco. If you stood for any time on Haight St. during the festival, however, the wafting smells were certainly not of tobacco, if you catch my drift. If you are still hazy about what I am referring to, there were stalls selling a book called The Cannabible, and handing out leaflets promoting a certain "Cannabis Action Network" (Cannabis and action? Sure. If by action, you mean, eating all the cookies in the house afterwards).

Verily, it was quite fascinating to observe hippies in their natural habitat, among others of their kind. If this was just a paltry street fest, then I can only imagine what Burning Man must be like, in person. I am so stoked for next weekend's Gay Pride parade (featuring dykes on bikes).

Overheard at the fest:
"What is cannabis?"

Sign of the day: "Please donate $ for marijuana research. Will smoke it all".