Carolina looked down at her phone to read a text from her husband. “David said they’re going to announce lockdown for San Francisco at 1pm.”
“Wait—they’re locking down at 1pm or their announcing the lockdown at 1pm?”
“They’re announcing it.”
It was 12:40. I wasn’t terribly concerned. Carolina, on the other hand, while calm, was trying to plan for the worst.
“You should go. Get out now while you can. I can go shopping for you or help you pack. Whatever you need. But you should go before you can’t.”
I hadn’t planned on leaving San Francisco for two weeks. My humble abode was paid for till the end of the month, and now that my job ended, I had grand plans of hiking, taking a tour of wine country, seeing friends, and writing. Now it seemed those middle two would be out of the question, but writing and hiking are solitary endeavors I could still enjoy.
There was no way I could pack up my entire place and and still be awake enough to be safe driving the six hours back to southern California.
“You don’t need to get all the way the home. Just get out of San Francisco. You can go to Santa Cruz and be fine,” Carolina suggested.
She was ready to call the beagles back and leave immediately. The announcement hadn’t even gone out yet.
“No, let’s hang out for a bit.”
I wanted to hear what they had to say, how they planned to make this happen, but I also wasn’t overly concerned that I would be jailed in San Francisco… I mean, honestly, how bad would that be anyway since I was already choosing to be there?
Carolina received text updates from her husband as we let our canine kids romp about for another forty minutes. As of midnight, the city would be shutting down and they were requesting all residents to stay at home except for essentials. It was surreal hearing that, as dozens of people and dozens upon dozens of dogs roamed about the open sand dunes and shrubbery. How would they tell everyone about this? Would anybody really listen?
We walked around the usual path and back up to the parking lot. I was still considering leaving, only because if a lockdown did extend past the end of the month, I couldn’t afford to continue renting here. I took one last picture of Tucker atop Fort Funston in case this was our last stop…
I paid for the place, and I wanted to stay. I couldn’t visit friends, but hiking and writing would be most of my days anyway. So I called my landlady and told her I would be staying until they forbid me to leave to go home—in which case I had to leave on the drop of a dime.
But I didn’t expect that to happen. After two days of being indoors, catching up on some writing, I ventured out, but didn’t want to venture far. When I first moved in, my landlady had told me there was a way to get to Glen Canyon Park through the woods from a few streets away and it was really beautiful. Since I was finally home during daylight hours, I thought we’d give it a shot. I found it on alltrails.com, and after a few wrong turns (are there really wrong turns or just a longer path?), I found the entrance.
It was like entering a portal into a fairyland. Wildflowers bloomed along the steep incline. Butterflies danced above. No picture could do it justice.
There were a few paths to choose from from, but I didn’t feel like one would outdo another; they were all equally fantastic.
Before returning to the city, just over the hill, Tucker sat atop a manhole cover, and I imagined this was a secret portal that others come to and find this other world.
Because if you’re ordered to shelter in place, this is the place to be—at least for Tucker and me.