Claremont Canyon

random trip report

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Behind Clark Kerr Campus, there's a trail that goes up into the Berkeley hills. I've hiked this trail since I was a kid, and in recent years I've hiked it every Friday afternoon with a group of friends. It's sort of a sacred place to me.

A few years ago a group of zealots decided that the trail needed to be more accessible. They started putting in lots of wooden steps. They turned the steep parts of the trail into staircases. They kept going, putting in more and more steps, even in shallow parts of the trail. The spacing of the steps was awkward, and their sharp edges were unpleasant to walk on. The steps ruined what was once a wonderful trail.

A couple of years ago someone painted the longest stretch of steps to resemble a piano keyboard. This person - with tremendous artistic vision and clarity of purpose - evidently was protesting the arrogance and idiocy of the out-of-control step builders.

In the first version of the work - which we might call "Scale" - the steps were entirely black or white. More recently, the steps were repainted to make the black keys shorter than the white keys, as on an actual piano. I think this was a big improvement.

Copyright 2024 © David P. Anderson