Racing Daylight

November 3, 2011, Washington, DC: There is a trail in the Marin Headlands, just north of the Golden Gate Bridge, that always reminds me of racing daylight. It dead ends at Tennessee Beach facing west-southwest at the Pacific Ocean. If you squint hard enough, you think you just might see the Farrallon Islands. The Tennessee Valley Trail is one of my favorite spots in the country, and it’s the spot I’d once hurry to after work, to race out and back to the beach in the bottom right corner of the photo pictured above.

If I planned it right, I’d return to my car just in time to realize it was suddenly dark and very cold there in that valley. It’s that time of year again when I’m racing daylight.

Come Sunday, there will not be enough hours in the day. Until then, we squeeze all we can into these next four days before hunkering down and trying with all our might to not let the darkness bring us down.

This is when I always think back to Tennessee Valley. I can still smell the eucalyptus in the air. I can picture the great horned owl who so often watched from the line of tall trees where the paved fire road meets the dirt trail. I envision the bend in the wide path, the lower, narrower route that cuts through through the meadow, the hole in the rock at the beach where the sun pokes through as it falls.

There’s nothing more we can do than to keep on racing daylight.

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