Sunday, February 27, 2011

San Pablo Ave., Rodeo - Feb. 27, '11

Walking Distance: 4.1 miles
Walking Time: 1 hr., 38 min. (12:55 - 2:33 p.m.)
Start and End Point: Side of street, California St., Rodeo, CA

Today I parked in Rodeo, CA; and I walked East on San Pablo Ave. (double yellow line on Bay Trail map) to an East Bay Regional Park entry gate (trailhead for San Pablo Bay Regional Trail shown as red line on map -- and the location where I finished a previous walk). 
If you're into contrasts -- this is a good walk for you.

An oil refinery or processing plant creates a heavy footprint on land and shore. The Conoco Phillips facilities are no exception. There were lots of lots of large, metal objects: tanks, towers, pipes -- in short all the things you'd expect to see. 

There were multiple signs prohibiting standing, stopping, loitering or trespassing of any kind along this industrialized corridor, for security reasons I presume. I felt sorry for the woman bicycle rider across the street frantically trying to fix what might have been a flat tire or bent rim.

I was heartened to see, after walking through and by the refinery, green hills and trees and flowers -- and to hear frogs and red-winged blackbirds. And the hubcap flowers were in bloom in the dirt (example shown) as well as the beautiful yellow mustard flowers (also shown).

I saw several bicycle riders, but no other pedestrians. This walk was somewhat challenging for pedestrians. Toward the East end (closer to Cummings Skyway) there are one or two blind corners on this winding 4-lane road, with some hills, with very little setback from rapidly moving traffic. Also a fairly heavy percentage of trucks of different sizes use this route. Fortunately, it was Sunday, during non-rush hours, so there were fewer vehicles on the road.

Wildlife Sightings:
18 sea gulls; 26 red-winged blackbirds; 1 hawk or falcon; 2 little brown jobs (LBJs); 1 turkey vulture; 2 hubcaps; sounds of frogs (but no sightings). 

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