Kevin Standlee (kevin_standlee) wrote,
Kevin Standlee

It Pays to Go Walking, Literally

There are a lot of things I could have been doing this weekend, but I didn't do many of the so-called "productive" things. Instead, I watched a fair bit of sport (F1 Grand Prix, Euro 2008 quarter-finals, Giants blowing a huge lead and losing a baseball game), then packed myself a lunch and walked the long way around Quarry Lakes. It was nearly 10 degrees C (close to 20 F) cooler today than it was yesterday, which was very nice.

I've always wanted to try and organize a large fannish picnic at Quarry Lakes, but the two big pavilions cost $500 each to reserve, and there's a $5 parking fee. Most of the fans I know would, I expect, balk at the parking fees, and I'm not willing to put up $500 out of my own pocket for the reserved pavilion, either. (You can avoid the parking fee by hiking in about 1 km/0.5 mi from the Isherwood Staging Area, where parking is free. That distance doesn't bother me anymore, but I suspect it would be too much for most people I know.) The other areas that can be reserved are smaller, but are also inside the swimming area, which has an additional $3 entrance fee per person. There are single tables as well, available first-come/first-served, but I don't want to have to be out there first thing in the morning trying to hold down space.

In case you're curious here's a park map. I walked down the Alameda Creek Trail on the Paseo Padre Parkway side, crossed the bridge at Isherwood, walked past the Trails Office, Boat Launch, and Fee Swim Area, ate lunch where the table is shown under "Park Office," then walked on the Western Pacific Trail to the Niles Gate and back home via the Alameda Creek Trail and the Sequoia Bridge.

The killdeer are hanging in there. I wish I'd had the camera for the other wildlife. While watching a couple of squirrels make for their nest, I realized that there were two jackrabbits approaching as well, and for a while all four of them would have been in the same shot. Walking around past the swimming beach, I sat down and ate my sandwich. Within a few minutes, many geese -- there are a lot of geese at the Lakes right now -- including a pair with two little goslings in tow, descended upon me. A couple were pretty aggressive that I should feed them. I tossed a tiny bit to the two babies, but not to the noisy, hissing adults. After finishing my lunch, I stood up and looked around from my vantage point at the top of a small rise. Down in one of the smaller of the Quarry Lakes, I spotted movement -- a deer walking along the shore.

Much to my surprise, while heading down one of the trails after lunch I stumbled across a $10 bill lazily flapping along in the dirt ahead of me. There was no obvious owner nearby, so I pocketed it. I looped around beyond the lakes and back up Alameda Creek, then stopped briefly by the apartment to drop off the aluminum can and bag from lunch. Then I walked down to Shakers Pizza and braced up that Spider-Man pinball machine again. There are still challenges to overcome, but I doubt now that I'll have sufficient time, as this relatively quiet weekend was exceptional. Next weekend, for instance, I need to gear up for Westercon.

I wasn't totally unproductive, though. While watching the F1, I went through the three boxes of Match Game SF material and consolidated it down to two boxes, which will make for easier traveling to Westercon. This week I must try to work out which questions we'll use. It would help if I knew exactly how many games we would be playing and what the subject matter was. And with Costume-Con behind us, I'm now a little short of sponsor goodies for prizes.

The pedometer says I've walked over 8600 steps today, and it usually under-counts. My feet can feel it. Must keep at it. I need the exercise and need to be able to on my feet that much for the summer conventions.
Tags: match game, westercon, wildlife

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