What’s old is new again: Riding the rails and shooting film with my teenage son

The highlight of our trip, both scenically and emotionally, was camping on Angel Island in San Francisco Bay. Just a few miles from the city, but a world apart in its quiet beauty.

Roscoe and I lugged our heavy packs up a trail through junipers and pine, climbing higher and higher overlooking the harbor, the sailboats out at sea flitting by like shiny jewels against the turbulent blue water, while he took landscape photos.

Our campsite was perched on the side of a hill with a magnificent view, the faint lights of San Francisco glittering to the far left with the silhouette of the Golden Gate Bridge to the right. We were blown away by the sight, even my cynical son stopping to stare in amazement, excitedly climbing giant boulders near our site to catch a better angle for his photos. We hugged each other.

Sitting on a rock to take a break, looking out over the bay, we started to talk about nature, spirituality and the meaning of life—and I had the sense to pause and listen to him. Too often, I’m in a hurry and don’t take time to just sit and talk to him, to have a real conversation.

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