Getting out

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Saturday, 14 June 2014

The open space district has an award for anyone who patrols all of its trails.The actual award? An anvil. Well, not the hundred pound chunk of iron kind, but there’s something appropriate about the idea anyway. There is something north of 200 miles of trail in their jurisdiction, so it will take a while, but the real issue is likely to be that some of them are far away, enough to be a bit of a nuisance getting there.

But there is certainly low-hanging fruit. Foothills open space preserve, for example, only has one trail, only about half a mile long, and I have never bothered to stop there. Today I did. New trail, new preserve, one low hanging fruit.

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Then I went on up Page Mill road to the end of Montebello road, where I hiked several other trails that I have never done before (above: the view of Silicon Valley from the Adobe Creek trail, Mission peak across the bay), and other trails that I have done before but not for a long time.

The most interesting name is Watermill creek trail; there is a small spring in an area where we could imagine there once was a waterwheel. Today, we see only a few pipes. It would not be a surprise if one of the pipes takes the water over to the nearby backpack camp.

Having done this corner of Montebello preserve, I drove back down the hill. It was still early in the afternoon, so I went to Windy Hill, where I put in a couple hours in the coolth near the creek along Eagle Trail cleaning out broom. I hope I succeeded in avoiding the poison oak.

For the log: 16 miles. 2700 vertical feet.

Sunday, 15 June

There is more low-hanging fruit along the baylands. The best way to visit these two areas is by bicycle. First, we go to Ravenswood, the section just south of the Dumbarton bridge. Nothing much there, except the Hetch Hetchy aqueduct coming ashore from the east side of the bay.

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When I first saw these from a distance, I was reminded of a train of tank cars. Close up, we see that they are not as big as tank cars, but they are more than big enough!

From here, back around on the streets to the other section of Ravenswood, namely Cooley’s Landing. This one connects via continuous trails that go all the way down to Sunnyvale. Next stop was the Palo Alto duck pond.

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The black-crested night herons breed in the trees above the duck pond.

Nearby, shallow marsh where I saw shorebirds setting their eggs when I was here a few weeks ago. They don’t seem to still be setting, but I also don’t see any fluffy little chicks. Curious.

Further south, I deduced the presence of a school of fish from the large number of cormorants fishing from the surface and a matching number of terns fishing from the air. A good time was being had by all, well, all but the fishes.

I downloaded a trail map from the open space district, which shows all kinds of trails in the Shoreline park area, most of which I’ve never ridden before. As it turns out, only one small section is open-space district, and it’s on my bicycle commute route anyway, but it was an excuse to go ride pretty much all of the trails shown on the map. Nice day.

Also got to be work after a while. Although it’s all baylands, there are a fair number of hills here, some of them fairly steep, and many of the trails are also covered with loose deep gravel. The whole thing turned out to be 39 miles, more than I would have predicted, and I hadn’t taken any calories along. Enough; two more low-hanging fruits in the bag.

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One Response to “Getting out”

  1. D Says:

    Congratulations, Dave – a Black-Crowned Night Heron. I took a picture of one near the road between Quill Lakes in Sask. on this trip.

    Last best bird for me was a Western Kingbird before Hanna, AB. June 16. I was so tickled at that sighting and of the many hawks – mostly Red-Tailed. Good to see them.

    Like

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