Headed back to my old Santa Barbara stomping grounds for a few days, and one of the first things our tribe did was hit our favorite hike -- the Cold Spring Trail. It winds through the hills above Montecito, hills that look a whole lot like mountains to flatlanders from Florida.
I can never figure out the yield signs. They kinda make my head hurt. Are mountain bikes supposed to yield to me? Or me to them? And what about the damn horses? Can't they pretty much do whatever they want? And what if I encounter a horse riding a mountain bike? Then what? So I just yield to everything and everyone. Especially dogs. If I wanted to get all Tao about it, I suppose it could be a credo for life.
There are lots of dogs on the Cold Spring Trail. Big, happy, hairy dogs that romp along ahead of their owners, jump in the creek that runs alongside the trail, roll in the dirt and the leaves, and then, invariably, choose to shake themselves dry the moment they approach me. Getting dirty from a dog-shake ain't a bad thing. They're just sharing a little joyous funk. There are plenty of times that I would like to jump in the water and roll in the dirt and shake myself dry on passersby. And then maybe lift my leg on a tree. Or stick my nose somewhere I shouldn't stick it. Or hump away with wild abandon. But until societal norms embrace such behavior, I'll take vicarious pleasure from random dogs on Cold Spring Trail.
As for the spiders... don't get me started on the spiders. Walk the trail early in the morning and you will surely catch a mouthful of gooey web. Go with it. Tell yourself you're foraging and this is a blessed gift from nature. Spider webs, I'm told, contain lots of protein. Eat enough of them and you just might see a horse riding a mountain bike.