28 October 2007

Today I finally decided I needed to find the labyrinth inside Sibley Regional Volcanic Preserve. It never fails that when I'm on a walk, either through Sibley, or on Skyline outside of Sibley, someone stops to ask me if I know where it is. In fact, I never knew it existed until I read about it on the Walking Berkeley blog (this is the post where I also began my web circumnavigation ultimately finding my way to my Wednesday morning hiking group). Quite frankly, I am not a big fan of Sibley. I've always found it somewhat ugly....lots of wide fire-road sized trails, and really rocky. It looks like what it is....a former quarry. Amazingly, however, the Bay Area Ridge Trail is quite lovely through Sibley. It's between the Huckleberry and Tilden portions, and it's probably the most forest-looking part in all of Sibley. Scott and Ry went off, once again, to mountain bike in Redwood, so Si and I decided the girls were going for a hike to find this labyrinth. Fortunately I did my research online before leaving, and found out that there are actually six labyrinths throughout the park, with the Mazzariello Labyrinth being the largest of the six. According to Friends of the Labyrinth, it was originally created by Helena Mazzariello (of Montclair, natch), as a classical earthen labyrinth, but was added to by various hikers until it became the rock labyrinth that it now is. Also, apparently "the mere presence of the Mazzariello Labyrinth violates laws and codes of the East Bay Regional Park District. Although warmly embraced by some park officials, their sanctions of the Labyrinth are unofficial." No wonder it's not on any of the official maps or web pages. The top picture is the Mazzariello Labyrinth, as is the one with Si placing an offering, which had fallen off, back on the altar in the middle. If you look closely, the other picture is of Si in one of the smaller labyrinths above the Mazzariello Labyrinth you can see beyond. It's a very easy and enjoyable hike, and I highly recommend it if you want to spend a little outdoor time in a peaceful and meditative space.

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