I have a friend, born and raised on a Sausalito barge, a longtime San Francisco reporter turned criminal investigator, who knows the Bay Area better than I could ever hope for. For a while now, during the pandemic, he’s been on a one-day hike every Sunday. It is his designated moment to get lost on this or that path, to scrutinize the limits of our imperfect metropolis, a place surrounded by nature so spectacular that it sometimes eclipses the city itself. So when I search for a specific type of local hike, I don’t ask Google or AllTrails, I ask âUncle Joanieâ.
But regardless of Jonah’s Bay Area credentials, he’s not a mind reader. When I asked him about the perfect hike for the day after Thanksgiving, he looked at me – not for the first time in our longtime friendship – like maybe I was a row shorter than a pair. What, he wanted to know, made this hike different from the others?