Solstice Ride

The summer solstice occurred at 11:46 p.m. last night, the 20th. I didn’t go out and fire off my handgun, because I forgot to buy one and I don’t have any ammo.

So today: The first full day of summer. The days are just about as long as they’re going to get. I spent the day in my office at the law school, and didn’t think much about the season. But when I got home, I decided to try to fight past my usual evening inertia and go out for a ride.

I didn’t get started till nearly 8 (7:54, actually), but figured I had enough time to make it to the highest point of Grizzly Peak Boulevard in the Berkeley Hills to see the sun go down (according to the online and newspaper almanacs I’ve found, sunset was at 8:35 p.m.).

I made it up to the little pullout where people go to look down on the city and watch the evening come on when the weather’s clear (there are plenty of evenings when the fog cuts visibility to 100 feet or less up in the hills, and I’ve been riding up there then, too). I made it without about three minutes to spare and watched the sun disappear behind a mountain peak somewhere in northwestern Marin County. Then I got on my bike and started to ride away when someone said, “Dan!”

It was my neighbor Piero, with his son Niko. We’d been standing about 10 yards apart, I’d guess. But all of us were so focused on watching this first day of summer close that we never saw each other. They drove back down, and I finished my ride.