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Sibley Volcanic PreserveJanuary 29, 2007


We discovered the MOST amazing place yesterday on a dog outing. Sibley Volcanic Regional Preserve, part of the East Bay Regional Parks, practically just behind where we live (literally on the other side of the hill from the lodge we got married in last year), it's this huge beautiful space for walkin' in.

It's an old volcano, so the geology of the place is fascinating. And were I twelve years old with a fresh, curious mind, I would have been fascinated by the igneous and the whatsamacallneous, but I am old and my brain is full of things like property taxes and flax-seed oil, so I could only walk and marvel at the view and the cute, cute dogs and remark at all these loose rocks that, hey, might be volcanic!

It was all misty and damp, spitting a promise of rain, and the green hills rolled around us. We stood on the county line, looking from Oakland to Orinda. Cows graze up there (and you can still have dogs off-leash! Yay East Bay Regional!), although we didn't see any. Clara was disappointed.

Only one bad thing happened -- we climbed to the highest point to get the best view. We stood next to a barbed wire fence and oohed and ahhed. Then I noticed Clara was on the WRONG SIDE of the barbed wire. She'd gone through a few feet away, where the fence was more open. I called her, thinking she'd come back the same way, but she's a smart border collie, and came back the most direct route, right THROUGH the fence. Her nose got stabbed, and started bleeding, rather alarmingly. We grabbed her (she didn't seem to notice anything amiss) and examined her -- it was only a puncture wound, but ohmygod, did it bleed.

It bled right into her mouth and then dripped out, onto the her white chin and the ground and made her look absolutely vicious. She ran happily ahead and greeted several people while Lala hollered, "Barbed wire! Nose! She's fine!" It stopped bleeding within minutes, and today we can't even find the damage, but it was alarming.

But blood aside, it's as close to Brigadoon as the East Bay gets. The Redwood Regional Park, Leona Canyon, the Chabot area, those areas are wonderful, but they're so full of trees that block the view (I guess some people like that sort of thing) and undergrowth that includes a ton of poison oak. Sibley is open, rolling, green, almost poison-oak free. The views are amazing. It's right behind Montclair. It's just about perfect.


It is a day off for me, and I have SO much to do. I have an acupuncture appointment (hooray!) and a meeting with the new dog walker (who trained with Cesar Millan -- no matter what you think of his methods, that man is so cute), and I'm possibly watching the godkid Dylan, and tonight we're having dinner with an Unraveled friend who is going to Venice soon and wants the scoop. Lala got new 501's that she shrunk to fit, so I sent a hot-lookin' wife off to work and then made muffins, and life is good at the Hehu house.


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What a perfect setting for a border collie. And I hear you on the nose bleed thing. Riley cut his nose once on a broken jar we hadn't known was in my Dad's back yard. Tiny little cut, but by the time it stopped leaking you'd have sworn I'd been sacrificing babies in the bathroom. Oy.

I have given many a geologic tour of sibley park - in fact to 8-12 year olds. They love it! One of the fun things about being a geologist is that I often get to pretend that I am 12 and play in rocks and dirt.

At least Clara didn't get a bloody tail. that's the worst - the more excited they get, the messier it is! Hope she is okay!

Okay, I'm very curious -- what is Lala's secret to shrinking 501's to fit? And please, please don't let it be wearing them wet. That's the one and only technique I have yet to try, and I suspect it's the best one because I haven't found a great one yet.

Ouch, Clara!

I saw that same unraveled woman on Saturday marching for peace. Have a great day off!

Celia is the best - peace marching and wedding dance conga-line starting. Have fun.

Poor Clara's nose, glad that healed so quickly. Poor little monkey.

Rachel: When Ryan and I came down for your wedding, we got to the lodge about an hour early (I had left "getting lost time" in the schedule). So we actually ended up driving up and up and up behind the lodge and I think we ended up at this park you're talking about. The view was fabulous. And being in tourist mode, we were taking pix of the view. Pretty soon it was: Hey that looks like the Golden Gate Bridge! Hey, isn't that Alcatraz? Wait a minute--we're looking at S.F.! It only took us three landmarks to figure out what we were looking at. It is really gorgeous out there.

I just laughed outloud imagining Lala yelling that. Glad the puppy is okay. Have a great day off!

Hee hee, I can so see a bloody-muzzled Clara running all happily up to and greeting perfect strangers. Musta been a sight. I'm glad it was just a minor flesh wound. Also, love me some Cesar Millan. We have had amazing results with our dog (I mean us, as owners) since watching season 1. His methods just make so much sense - I was nearly kicking myself saying "Duh, why didn't I think of that?!" Good luck!

Poor Clara. I would be so very amused to run into you, Lala, and the dogs to be greeted by, ""Barbed wire! Nose! She's fine!"

That definitely sounds like a dog mishap that would happen to me, only, out here it's more likely to involve cactus.

How I love the just right fitting jeans. Nothing cuter than an already cute girl in just right jeans. =)

Ouch to Clara, though it sounds like it was no skin off her nose, heh. (Crap. I fear I may have inherited my Father's terrible pun tendencies. Now that I am thirty, I guess these lervely traits will start rearing their crazy little heads.) Ah, well. Clearly time for more coffee for me.

Sounds like a purdy place for a walk!

sounds like an amazing day... i love volcanic rock :) and the story of clara is a hoot.
enjoy your day off chica!

I love Sibley! Did you see the labyrinth in there? My boyfriend took me hiking there a long time ago, and there was handmade labyrinth (I think made from rock if I remember correctly) and people walking around and meditating. It was pretty cool.

Oops, I guess empty comments are what happen when you don't comment for a really long time. I know this is a bit late, too, but I haven't had internet to read blogs for a while - catching up.

This story reminds me of one of my favorite stories. My husband had his wisdom teeth out at about the age of 19. He was all numbed up and rode his bike back home across town. He arrived at his dorm or whatever it was and the concierge guy looked at him all alarmed. He asked what had happened. All smiley, my husband replied that he had just had his wisdom teeth pulled. That's when the concierge pointed out that he was covered in blood.

Apparently, during the ride home, he bit his lip. It bled profusely the whole way. He never noticed a thing. It makes me laugh so hard I cry every time I think of this kid happily riding home from the dentist while people stare, horrified by his nonchalance at the gallons of blood dripping from his face. I'm pretty sure I would have felt sorry for him, though, had I been there.

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