I’ve had these photos for a while now. They’ve been waiting to become a blog post, but I’ve been struggling to find the words to describe my relationship with fog. As an outdoor athlete, I have a love-hate relationship with fog.
On one hand, fog means cold. Fog means damp. Fog means extra layers. Fog means sometimes coming home from a ride, run, or hike damp and cold. Fog sometimes means peeling damp layers off and standing in a hot shower, toes purple with cold.
Summer coastal fog in Northern California sometimes means a wall of gray 55 degree fog blowing in off the mighty Pacific Ocean. Summer fog sometimes burns off in the early afternoon only to return by five or six o’clock.
On the other hand, fog has a natural beauty of its own.
It brings mystery to familiar stomping grounds and brings our vision closer. Fog is like nature’s macro lens. Instead of sweeping views, our vision is limited to close details. Trails fade off into the distance and each turn is revealed slowly. Fog forces us to search for details in the distance, or just to pay attention to what is right in front of us.
Trees become ghostly and mysterious; their branches taking on new shapes. Despite invoking images of scary movies for some, winter trees in the fog have their own beauty. Then again, these are my neighborhood trails. They have a familiarity that comes with a lifetime of playing outdoors here.
Sometimes outdoor adventures in the fog are all about timing. If you are lucky enough to get all the factors right, you may get to see the fog burn off in a matter of minutes. Right time, right elevation, right temperature, a strong sun, and the fog retreats in a show of rays and halos.
I was lucky enough to climb out of the canyon just as the sun was breaking through. I watched for about ten minutes as the sun burned through the fog in a light show of stunning rays and halos. In a few minutes, the fog had burned off, leaving a clear blue sky. Being able to witness nature in motion, these are the moments that make us feel truly alive. Moments like this are the also reason that I started carrying a small “lifeproof” camera to shove in a pocket.
Daisy (Fog Dog) loves the cool weather and running through the wet grass. She is built for cool weather with her thick coat and revels in the cool damp air. Cool foggy days make her spunky and playful. She prances and explores, climbs trees and rolls in cool grass.
The next time you find yourself on a cold, foggy day, bundle up and get outside. Find a ridge or a forest and revel in it. There is plenty to be seen, even on “blah” days.