Monday, January 17, 2011

Franklin Canyon Rd., Martinez - Jan. 16, '11

Walking Distance: 3.6 miles (estimate)
Walking Time: 1 hr., 21 min. (1:25 - 2:46 p.m.)
Start and End Point: Public parking lot near park/trailhead, Franklin Canyon Rd. and Alhambra Ave. (just to the South of Highway 4); Martinez, CA

Franklin Canyon Road is a quiet, semi-rural, gently winding road that is just south of, and roughly parallel to, Highway 4 (John Muir Parkway). In at least one spot, to the south of this road, you may also see a train rumble by.

Today was an overcast Sunday, early afternoon, and cool enough for a jacket and hat. I walked West on Franklin Canyon Road as far as 2500 Franklin Canyon Road -- a place I nicknamed the "candy cane" house. In addition to a row of candy canes in front of the house, there was a small plaque explaining the origins of the candy cane.

I passed by houses -- some with yards large enough for a few horses, cows or goats. Fortunately, the only dogs I saw were behind closed gates. I always feel relieved when I see these gates, knowing that there
will probably not be any well-meaning dogs charging out onto the public road, intent on protecting what they might feel is their property.

January winter weather generally means gray days and limited spots of color. My eye was drawn to bright green grass and moss; evergreen trees; and bright red berries. Even brightly colored bits of broken glass on the road stand out more than they would otherwise. I also enjoyed seeing small daffodils starting to poke up through the dirt. This is one reason why I continue to live in California; these small glimpses of Spring appear so much earlier than in most other parts of the country.

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