Looking Back: October

October in the Bay Area this year was very hot. We usually have a month in the spring and one in the fall (generally May and September) where there is a week of high temps and then the summers are generally mild. This year we had high heat and winds and lots of it. It's like Zeus is up there maniacally laughing while he throws heat and lightning and blustering wind our way. 

I was supposed to take a week off in September and was going to go hiking in the Sierras, but the fires had other plans for me and the national forests were closed and they stopped issuing permits for overnight stays in the California backcountry. So I had to improvise; more on that later! 

Running: Between running and hiking, I clocked about 295 miles. I have been getting back into running pretty regularly three days a week; it is very nice to have a routine, even if it is in a different place than normal in an effort to stay away from the crowds. Also, I am not doing a group run each week like I was last year, as I am still trying to keep my bubble as small as possible. 

Reading: I read a lot in October, although most were audiobooks. I would say that approximately 3/4 of my reading is now done via audiobook. This is mostly due to the fact that I drive to work now, but also I have been listening a lot while gardening or working in the house as well as when I run by myself. I also listen at 1.4x speed, so I can get a lot more reading done this way! My favorite was Rodham, which is the story of what Hillary's life would have been like if she hadn't married Bill, and at times I forgot that it was fiction as it flows so nicely. The only weird thing was that it was very crude at times and I didn't really want to think of Bill and Hillary in that way! 

Travel: Since my state basically was closed down due to COVID and/or fires, I ended up taking a road trip to Idaho to do some hiking. I brought a cooler and was self sufficient, except for gas and potty breaks. Of course, even though it was hot in California, it snowed on me and was probably in the 20s in the Sawtooths. However, I had some fabulous social distancing (I did not see a person at all for two of the days) and got some great photos of the snowy landscape! I will have to go back there another time for sure! I also met up with my parents once for a socially distanced hike and dinner, which was very fun! 

Hiking in the snow is fun! 

Misc.: Due to being gone a lot in October, the yard and garden has been severely neglected! I also have a family (with a lot of cousins!) of hornets/wasps/yellowjackets (?) in a hole in one of my raised beds and it has kept me from that area, so the weeds are taking over! My November goal is to get that all cleaned up, although my Maple tree in my front yard keeps sending leaves down every time I clean up, so it feels a bit fruitless at times! 

Do you know how to get rid of ground dwelling hornets/wasps/yellowjackets? What good book did you read in October? Have you traveled at all since COVID? 


  1. I don't think we have had ground dwelling hornets. Our parents have had nests on their houses and they sprayed them and then threw the nests away when they were sure everyone was dead. Not fun!

    I also enjoyed Rodham. I kept forgetting it was fiction and not a memoir! Sittenfeld is such a great author. But I also found the intimate scenes to be cringe-worthy. Eww!

    We have not traveled since Covid but weren't planning to anyways w/ me being pregnant and all. I think we won't travel until sprign 2022 when the baby is 1 years old. I"m not a fan of traveling with an infant - it's more hassle than it's worth - at least for us.

    I dream of a time when we can meet you in Colorado or Utah and do a hiking trip! That is probably several years in the future but I know we'd all have a blast and you like kids! We will of course wait until they are a bit older and aren't pains to bring on hiking trips. ;) I know PHil would love to have a beer drinking buddy and loves spending time around you in general. Some day. :)

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