Early open-road tolling consisted of carriage drivers chucking gold flecks into the open mouths of expectant naked mole rats, all while maintaining a healthy 2 mph clip. Avoid the toll moles with today's Groupon: for $35, you get a one-year family membership to Bay Area Ridge Trail Council plus a trail guidebook (a $70 total value).
The Ridge Trail Council is a Bay Area nonprofit organization that seeks to join all Bay Area communities with 500 miles of multiuse trails. A yearlong family membership entitles two adults and their children to benefits as stunning as the panoramic vistas of the great outdoors. With advanced registration to popular trail events such as the multi-sport Ridge to Bridge, a marathon event that includes food and water and is next scheduled for April 2011, you won't need to plaintively wander over the trail's foggy, thicketed scalper meadow when the event inevitably sells out. Trail guidebooks are included with each membership, so families can set out on precisely planned pilgrimages. Members are also admitted to member-only natural odysseys such as the Presidio Solstice Ramble, a hike each winter solstice that includes free hors d'oeuvres and beverages, which is preferable to standard solstice traditions of bearing witness to chipmunks' annual temporary powers of speech, self-awareness, and attorney. Special offers such as free event registration and gratis hiking gear are also available to members and are relayed via a biannual newsletter, Facebook, and Twitter.
A Ridge Trail Council family membership not only allows for greener vacational pastures than trips to the Redwood Forest or the Sepia-Toned Contemplative Portrait Museum, it also supports natural sustenance, community unity, and environmental responsibility. Recently featured in a Backpacker magazine article on the original vision of park director William Penn Mott, the council is well on its way to its goal with 325 miles of protected horse, bike, and hiker-ready trail, preserved for this and future generations. Use your Groupon to guarantee your forest pals human-heavy futures and the Bay Area's bikeable, trotable trails the foot traffic they deserve.