Saturday, August 31, 2013

Cooley Landing - June 21, 2013

Walking Distance: 2.6 mi.
Walking Time: 1 hr., 22 min. (11:32 a.m. - 12:54 p.m.)
Start and End Point: Cooley Landing (packed gravel parking lot), East Palo Alto, CA

Cooley Landing is located at the east end of Bay Road in East Palo Alto, at the Southern end of the Ravenswood Open Space Preserve. It was once part of a network of boat landings, built before there were modern freeways on the San Francisco peninsula. Boats carried freight, not semis. In later years, Cooley Landing hosted a boatworks.

Several organizations cooperated to preserve and make this historic site accessible. After a first phase of work was completed, the site was finally opened to the public in 2012, creating another link in the San Francisco Bay Trail.

I was happy to walk the new stretch of Bay Trail at Cooley Landing (shown as a dark green, solid line on map) for the first time today -- all the more so, because I was joining Kurt Schwabe on this walk. Kurt was in the process of doing a round-the-bay walk in 30 days (June 2013), using public transit.

To meet Kurt, I walked back (south) a short distance. He'd gotten an early start and had already walked several miles. When I spotted Kurt, he was walking briskly with a man he'd met on the trail (and his dog).

We quickly consulted the appropriate map card in the new Bay Trail 25 Map Card Set, as we walked north toward Cooley Landing.

However, rather than terminate the walk at Cooley Landing, I convinced Kurt that we should keep heading north to walk the large crescent shape trail (medium green solid line on map), then return to walk the Cooley Landing peninsula/point afterwards. (Kurt was a good sport and extended his already long walk for the day.) We did exactly that, and when we arrived back at Cooley Landing, we walked out to the point, and around old wood structures encircled by a fence*.

This point featured views of the Dumbarton Bridge to the north, the east bay hills across the bay, and Shoreline Ampitheater to the south.

Wildlife Sightings:
4 butterflies/moths; 2 mockingbirds; 2 little brown jobs (LBJs); 5 swallows; 3 clouds of ankle-to-eyeball gnats; 1 ground squirrel (small, juvenile); 2 great egrets

Note: An old boat building at Cooley Landing was destroyed by fire in mid-August, 2013.

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