Saturday, December 10, 2011

Alameda Creek - Dec. 9, 2011

Walking Distance: 3.8 miles
Walking Time: 1 hr., 42 min. (3:50 - 5:32 p.m.)
Start and End Point: Alameda Creek Stables Staging Area, Fremont, CA

Today I finished up the last bit of Bay Trail for this go-round. My original goal two years ago was to walk 1,000 miles around SF Bay. However, when I reached the end of my walk around the bay a few months ago, my mileage total was only 997.28 miles. I had come up a few miles short -- because I'd been forced to skip this last section of Alameda Creek trail; it was closed when I walked by here a few months ago. (Thank you to Greg Hilst at the Alameda Public Works Dept. for confirming that this trail reopened last Wednesday.) This evening I walked this segment and finally reached my official 1,000 mile goal -- at last.

From the Alameda Creek Stables Staging Area parking lot ("P" on map), I walked up a slight hill to the top of the levee, and headed east on the north side (unpaved for equestrians) of the Alameda Creek Regional Trail (red line on the north side of the Creek/Channel Bay Trail Map) toward the Union City Boulevard bridge (double yellow lines in Bay Trail map) over the Alameda County Flood Control Channel/Alameda Creek. I walked under this bridge and then back onto (the east side of bridge that has a sidewalk for pedestrians); and I walked across the bridge. I exited left at the end of the bridge, and went under bridge again, back to west side, and walked up to newly re-opened section of the Alameda Creek Regional Trail (red line on map, south side of Creek/Channel).

This sounds complicated, but this is all a fancy way of saying -- don't try crossing this bridge walking on the west side -- as there is no sidewalk/shoulder for pedestrians or bikes, and cars are zipping along this street at a good clip. Note: walkers and bicyclists can also access this trail through Coyote Hills Regional Park.

Once I made it onto the south side of the Alameda Creek trail (paved for bikes and pedestrians), I headed west toward Coyote Hills Regional Park/SF Bay. On the way, I passed the turn-off to the Dust Trail, an unpaved packed dirt trail, good for trail bike riding. I continued to walk west on the newly asphalted trail, until I reached the intersection of Alameda Creek trail and the Bayview Trail (which continued into Coyote Hills park, and/or toward the Bay (offering nice views of the water and Dumbarton Bridge heading over to Menlo Park.

I started this walk in the 90 degree weather. Tonight I ended my walk in considerably cooler weather. The colors and landscape were muted. Tonight today's not-quite winter sun sank at 4:50 p.m. A colorful orange sunset to the west, and a full moon rising in the east. It was a beautiful way to end a 1,000 mile walk.

Wildlife Sightings:
56 Canada geese; 4 pigeons; 3 great blue herons; 5 snowy egrets; 7 great egrets; 2 killdeer; 79 ducks; 1 turkey vulture; 12 little brown jobs (LBJs); 3 kites (birds); 2 hawks/kestrels/falcons; 3 unidentified brownish shorebirds (UBBs); 10 coots; 9 doves; 9 sea gulls; 2 deer

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