Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Eckley Pier - Port Costa - Feb. 1, 2011

Walking Distance: 2.9 miles (estimate)
Walking Time: 1 hr., 48 min. (2:25 - 4:13 p.m.)
Start and End Point: Public/Park parking lot, near Eckley Pier, Crockett Hills Regional Park; Crockett, CA

Down at the bottom of the hill from this Park entrance (Bull Valley Staging Area) is Eckley (Fishing) Pier. Note: You do have to open a gate and look both ways for trains before walking out to the pier. After walking out to the end of the pier, and trying not to disturb the handful of people fishing, I walked around the park a bit, then hiked up the road to Carquinez Scenic Drive -- and headed East on this winding, two-lane road.

The one house I remember passing had a great collection of small whimsical creatures perched on a fence, and peeking out over the top of this fence was a metal man in a rocket. Very creative.

A bit further on, I noticed some very large footprints in the mud (mountain lion). Hmm. For some reason, this caused me to look around at the areas of brush and trees, and to pick up a stick. (Note: a small stick would, I'm sure, do absolutely nothing against a mountain lion.) The cows nearby didn't seem to have any worries; so I won't either. I also saw deer and what looked to be raccoon tracks.

I passed by small areas with glossy mounds of bright green grass. When I reached Canyon Lake Drive, and walked down to the historic town of Port Costa, I heard someone comment to a friend that the green grass would not last for long.

This is true; however, I'm certainly enjoying the green this winter. Not that California winters near the coast are harsh; many trees are starting to bud and bloom already.

Wildlife Sightings: 
1 sea gull; 1 snowy egret; 2 blue jays; 28 little brown jobs (LBJs); 20 quail (two separate groups); 7 cows; 3 domestic cats; 2 white doves