Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Broadway/Highway 29 - Sept. 18, 2010

Walking Distance: 2.0 miles
Walking Time: 34 min. (4:32 - 5:06 p.m.)
Start and End Point: Shopping Center parking lot, American Canyon Rd. and Broadway, American Canyon, CA

Occasionally I will finish a short segment of Bay Trail, and realize I have some time and energy left to walk a bit further. Today was one of those days. The prospect of crossing over into a new county (from Napa into Solano) and city (from American Canyon into Vallejo) was also a draw.

After walking Wetlands Edge with Alec earlier today, we drove to the large shopping center at the intersection of American Canyon Rd. and Broadway (also known as Highway 29 - and shown as double yellow lines on map, above right), to buy something to eat and drink at Safeway. Alec stayed in the car while I decided to hike down Broadway to Mini Drive and back.

Fortunately, this stretch of Broadway/Highway 29 had a wider, more generous shoulder to walk along than other areas of Highway 29 further North. The wildlife sightings (below) revealed a more industrialized, gritty environment. Not as many graceful shorebirds, and more tough characters: i.e. pigeons, rats, rusty screws, etc. But, even in the toughest areas, beauty can be found, such as these roadside Lantanas (flowers) growing over sidewalk (pictured at right).

Wildlife Sightings:
2 turkey vultures, 1 dragonfly, 1 rusty screw, 3 pigeons, 10 little brown jobs (LBJs), 2 crows, 1 dead rat (side of road)

Wetlands Edge, Am. Canyon - Sept. 18, 2010

Walking Distance: 3.35 miles
Walking Time: 1 hr., 35 min. (2:30 - 4:05 p.m.)
Start and End Point: Parking lot, at Eucalyptus and Wetlands Edge, American Canyon, CA

American Canyon is located between Napa and Vallejo, where the Napa River starts to merge with San Francisco Bay. Today I enjoyed getting my Bay Trail walking feet back, after a month's break (spent traveling and investigating other Bay Trails). Previously, last month, I had walked the newly opened section of Napa River/Bay Trail from this same parking lot in American Canyon with a friend.

Thank you to Alec for joining me on today's walk along Wetlands Edge (road).  As we got out of the car in the parking lot, we enjoyed briefly watching a group of young girls flying kites made out of paper bags. What the kites lacked in terms of aerodynamic prowess, the girls made up for in terms energetic kitesmanship. From there we turned the corner to Wetlands Edge to start our walk.

The Wetlands Edge stretch of Bay Trail allows pedestrians (and leashed dogs) to walk on a wide sidewalk, on the River/Bay side of the road. On the East side of the trail is a suburban neighborhood. To the West, is open space and water. We walked the complete length of Wetlands Edge, plus a small stretch of W. American Canyon Rd. (as far as Hummingbird Way), before returning to the car.  

It was a great day for seeing birds. To the West, in the distance, we could see a solid strip of shorebirds huddled against the water's edge, and a kite (bird) perched on a dead tree limb. (Photo of curious, low flying turkey vulture, at right, courtesy of Alec Proudfoot.)

Wildlife Sightings:
7 unidentified flying bugs; 65 ducks; 520 medium-sized unidentified brownish shorebirds; 15 small unidentified brownish shorebirds; 4 American Avocets; 3 sea gulls; 3 turkey vultures; 1 white swan; 1 tiny brown lizard (or skink?); 21 pigeons; 1 brown and orange butterfly; 4 little brown jobs (LBJs); 1 black beetle; 2 crows; 1 kite (bird); 1 tiny pillbug; 1 dragonfly; 1 cat (feral? domestic? -- hard to tell, maybe half and half).