With steadily increasing interest each week, this has proved to be a durable project, which I suspect we will continue even after we return to the dojo for regular practice.
For Week 6, we took the show on the road to Discovery Park. Starting at the North Parking Lot, we followed the meandering Loop Trail through the woods until it met the Hidden Valley Trail, which we then followed to the first fork, and back up the steep main road until it rejoined the Loop Trail again. From there, we descended the stairs down the bluff to the North Beach Trail, but instead of following the beaten path southwest to the lighthouse, we ventured northwest along the coast.
In stark contrast to the previous week, we were accompanied by an eerie but refreshing mist that kept us cool throughout our hike. It also got us a little lost as we searched for a well-hidden, unmarked path back up the bluff. After doubling back, we eventually found it, and carefully made our way back up, using ropes and roots to help us up the steep terrain.
The sight of the Daybreak Star Indian Cultural Center as we emerged from the woods and the fog felt a little like rejoining civilization after being lost in the wild. But our work had just begun ‒ now was time for judo practice, with pushups and uchikomi led by Arnold.
After practice, we goofed off for a bit while enjoying grapes and French toast from Kozue. Those who stuck around to the very end received a special treat, homemade ichigo daifuku from Miki! Most of us are no longer in this for the judo, the exercise, the camaraderie, or any of that ‒ we’re in it for the food.