Monday, September 28, 2009

Pete's Harbor/Bair Island - Sept. 27, 2009


Walking Distance: 5.25 miles total (3.6 +1.65 miles)
Walking Time: 2 hours, 13 minutes (100 + 33 min.)
Start and End Points:
1.) Bair Island Visitor Parking Lot, Redwood City, CA
2.) Public Parking Lot, end of Skyway Rd., San Carlos, CA

As I'm getting further from home, I'm running into more (mostly pleasant) surprises and discoveries that come with unknown territory. Today, I parked in the Bair Island Visitor Parking Lot, and walked on Bair Island Road (shown as two goldish parallel lines on map) toward Highway 101 and back. Then I walked toward the Bair Island trail, only to see a big closed sign. So, I strolled over to Pete's Harbor for a late breakfast (and iced water for the hot day) at the Waterfront Restaurant. Very nice.

After my break, I walked back to the Bair Island sign and discovered there was a dirt trail (solid gold line on map, indicating an undeveloped trail) along the bay, which led to a bikepath/trail (a bypass trail closer to Highway 101 than shown by red line on map for Bair Lower Island). I headed toward San Carlos, alongside Highway 101, and turned around a mile or two before the Holly Street exit, and walked back to my car.

Deciding I might be able to trudge a bit further, I drove up to Holly St., and parked at a public parking lot at the end of Skyway Road, crossing over into the city of San Carlos in the process. And, if I'd been more patient, I could have taken a fun photo of a small plane over my car, coming in for a landing at nearby San Carlos airport.

But, it was hot (Death March Index score: 8 out of 10), and I finished today's walking by hiking back to the point where I'd stopped earlier, a short distance from a billboard (for Mrs. Meyer's cleaning products) that stated: "Always trust your nose"...an odd statement to make at low tide on the mud flats. I've gotten used to the occasional Bay smell, but it has dampened the enthusiasm of walking buddies who have joined me (and decided once was enough).

Hot and thirsty after walking, I found the Milkshake Werks in Redwood Shores, and had my lunch in the form of a root beer smoothie and a cup of homemade ice cream. Until the sugar rush hit me, it was a little slice of heaven.

Wildlife Sightings:
5 ground squirrels; 1 white marble; 2 rusty screws; 3 little brown jobs (LBJs); 4 cormorants; 6 butterflies/moths: 4 "skippers", 1 cabbage white?, 3 more smallish ones, one darker than others; 1 ladybug crawling across dirt path; 3 dragonflies; ~ 26 pigeons sitting on a wire overhead; 11 black necked stilts; 1 small gray grasshopper; 2 egrets; 1 lizard; 2 crows; 1 old-looking great blue heron. (Heard, but not seen: 1 killdeer)

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