Naturally sorted stones

Em and I hanging out at Tennessee Valley Beach

Em and I hanging out at Tennessee Valley Beach

After two years of living in San Francisco, we’ve realized pretty quickly that the best way to enjoy the City and maintain a degree of sanity is to spend some time away from it.  Escaping the rapid human-created pace of the city is essential.

This past Sunday we ventured to the Tennessee Valley trailhead to do a little hiking for the first time.  It’s just a short 20 minute drive outside the City and across the Golden Gate Bridge.  We left around 10am and on the drive north we passed the electronic signs informing drivers that the Muir Woods parking lot was already full.  This recreation area is a nice alternative Muir Woods if your plan is to get outside for the weekend.

By 10:30 a.m., the parking lot at the trailhead was already getting full.  We found a parking spot and set off for the beach.  It was a pleasant 2.5 mile hike to through the valley on a half paved, half gravel pathway.  The area is marked well and is a pretty tame outdoor experience.  We grabbed a little plot of beach and laid out for awhile.   The beach was pretty amazing, and the geology of the beach smoothly transitioned from gravel to sand as you approached the water.  We spent a good amount of time sifting through the colorful pea-sized gravel as is diminished into sand. Around noon the crowds picked up and we decided to head home.

It was a great spot with plenty of other trails to explore on our next visit.  We will be back for sure.

Chicago Taxi 311 Bumper Sticker

When I worked at the Chicago Department of Transportation, I was able to contribute to the development of the Chicago Pedestrian Safety campaign which was funded by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Chicago Taxi Bumper Sticker

Chicago Taxi Bumper Sticker

There were a number of elements to the campaign, but one component that I was able to work on was the Chicago Taxi 311 Bumper Sticker.  This was a collaboration between the Chicago Department of Transportation and the Department of Consumer Services, which involved a “how is my driving” styled bumper sticker to be placed on all taxis in the city.  My contribution was small in the fact that I helped to design the sticker but every time I visit Chicago there is a constant reminder on all taxis of my time with the Department.