Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Crown Memorial Park - June 6, '11

Walking Distance: 2.3 mi. total (estimate)
Walking Time: 1 hr., 26 min. (7:04 - 8:30 p.m.)
Start and End Point: Crown Memorial State Beach park parking lot (entrance on Westline); Alameda, CA

I'm not sure why, or how, I'd forgotten that being in Alameda for a sunset would be a great experience. Tonight I was reminded why this was the case as I was walking through the Robert Crown Memorial State Park and Beach, Crab Cove Visitors Center, and a gated section (only open during the day, until dusk) of paved (asphalt) trail running by/through what I'm assuming was a condominium development (private property).

All this trail is shown as a solid red line on the Bay Trail map. This last section of gated trail popped out onto a driveway and the intersection of Crown Drive and Central Avenue. Even before sunset, this was a nice area.

Robert W. Crown was evidently a State Assemblyman who helped campaign for parks in California. The Crab Cove Visitors Center, located within Crown Memorial Park, was closed when I walked by, but this center contains exhibits and information about the area.

Regarding the history of the extended Crown Memorial State Park/Beach area, the long (2.5 mile) stretch of beach on this part of Alameda was popular with past as well as present generations; and the beach has been replenished with more sand from the Bay from time to time. This beach area was once called the "Coney Island of the West."

I'd previously walked on the beach along Shoreline Drive in Alameda that extends into Crown Memorial State Park and Crab Cove. With many park closures this year in California, I feel very grateful that the East Bay Regional Park District has been able to manage to keep so many great parks open that I've had the opportunity to visit.

Fingers crossed that people will get out and appreciate these open spaces.

I walked along the beach and out to the end of a rocky peninsula at Crab Cove, and enjoyed seeing a family out fishing. Three little girls danced around and jumped in a big puddle with their dolls, to the consternation of their mother, while dad fished. Kids will be kids. At least everyone looked like they were having a good time. They might be cold and wet and complaining later, but you're only young once I guess. I can say this because I'm not their mom.

On the walk back, the clouds finally dissipated enough to allow for a great sunset -- with Alameda homes in the foreground, and the distant outline of the San Francisco skyline in the distance. I think I have to come back for another Alameda sunset.

Wildlife Sightings: 
16 sea gulls; 8 ducks; 17 Canada geese; 19 crows; 8 little brown jobs (LBJs); 3 cormorants; 1 small white ball; 4 Western/Clarks grebes; 1 bumblebee; 2 blue jays

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