February 4, 2012 12:07 PM
Line 67 is a relatively modest looking bus, as most buses go, and honestly, its a little obscure. The last thing I ever have to worry about when boarding is finding a seat, the first being whether or not the 67 is actually going to show up on time...which it almost never does. The stats for today? 4 people on the bus, 5 minutes late. But that's not the point. The point is that this is the only bus (at least ones I've been on) when the drive there is just as much a part of the trip as actually getting to the destination - Tilden Park, more on that later.
The 67 takes you all the way up the Berkeley Hills on a very windy and narrow road, something I would say is physically impossible, but I'm horrible at physics so my thoughts are irrelevant. The nature of the road itself and the steep grade make the trip a total of 25 minutes to get there from the stop at Center:Oxford. For a busy college student, this is practically 100 years, but when you circle ever closer to the very top and a little more of the horizon peaks over the edge of your sight, 100 years doesn't seem so bad. The houses you pass are more or less works of art as well. I kid you not, one house had full size CERAMIC statues of a family, some have staircases wrapped in branches, real ones that I assume bloom or come alive eventually, and others look like they were pulled right out of some Disney fairytale. Either way, it's an experience going up there, fortunately complimented by Tilden itself.
Tilden belongs to the East Bay Regional Park District and spans a whole lot more land than I care to calculate or look up. I have yet to explore all the trails that Tilden offers, because to be honest, I got distracted by the petting zoo. THE PETTING ZOO. There is no one in the world that can be stressed out while looking at rabbits frolicking in hay...well they were sleeping, but still, the frolicking has to happen eventually right?
Relieving stress is tricky, it's different for everyone and we all deal with it in different ways. But I've been hard pressed to find anyone who couldn't even relax just a little to enjoy something as simple and elegant as a grand view that never ends. There's something very peaceful about being somewhere that is completely natural, I don't know why and I care less about the reason than the actual effect. Tilden is a perfect place to just, not think at all, or think a lot, or talk, run, jog, walk, play, sing, what have you. There are little birds all over the place that have no business being THAT cute and of all the people I've run into, there's not been a single one that seems even slightly ticked off. And all of this is in a setting that is so rare, it's miles and miles of hills, trees, things that rustle in the underbrush, and uninterrupted skyline. However it is you deal with whatever it is you go through, Tilden is perhaps one of the best places Berkeley has to offer, where you can just clear your head, a place where the pressures of being a good student, trying to land a career, or make it out alive in general, seems blocked by the silence.
For those of you who want to volunteer or are looking for experience in "ecology, botany, geology, zoology, local history, native people, historic farming, and interpretive methods", there is a program available that allows you to gain skills, experience, and connections. That said, I want to end by saying that you will always have work, you will always have homework, but you might not always get to take Line 67.
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