Winter in Augustin Bernal Park

2 -toyon
Toyon berries (also known as Christmas berries), along Golden Eagle Trail

Wednesday, 12/18/2013 — I am off to find the Sinbad Creek Trail again. (See my first try here.) It’s 2:10 p.m. and I’m just starting out. Too late to complete the 14-mile trip out and back but I can at least travel along sections of the creek. I haven’t done that before.

Today’s hike begins in Augustin Bernal Park, not Pleasanton Regional Park like the last time. Although both parks are open to the public, access to the former is controlled. Non-Pleasanton residents must obtain entry permits from the Pleasanton Community Services office to enter via the main gate to Golden Eagle Farms, a gated residential community.

  • Hike type: moderate to strenuous
  • Distance: about 8 miles round trip (exact distance to be determined at a future date).
  • Time to complete: 4 hours round trip
  • Trails: Take (1) Golden Eagle to (2) Chaparral to (3) Valley View to (4) Ridgeline to (5) Bayleaf to (6) Sinbad Creek. Reverse order to return.

PART I

  1. From the trailhead by the parking lot/staging area, go uphill along Golden Eagle Trail. Moderate trail. (5-10 minutes)
  2. Make first LEFT onto Chaparral Trail. This trail is steep. (5-6 minutes)

    3
    Soap plant (aka California soaproot), along Chaparral Trail
  3. Make LEFT onto Valley View Trail. (45 minutes-1 hour)
  4. Continue straight on Valley View Trail, past the wooden bench and Blue Oak Trail (both on the right).
    Coyote brush in bloom
    Coyote brush in bloom, along Valley View Trail

    In about 2-minutes you will come to a pond, down to the LEFT, off the trail. This is a good place to bird watch and enjoy the reflections in the water. As I sat by the pond, the scent of California Bay drifted down to greet me.

  5. Head back up onto the Ridgeline Trail, go past the water trough and faucet on your left. A copse of oak trees stands at attention before you. You are now nearing the border between Augustin Bernal and Pleasanton Regional Park.

    9 -oaks
    Oak trees along Ridgeline Trail lead into Pleasanton Regional Park
  6. Continue straight on Ridgeline Trail, past the second Blue Oak Knoll Trail junction on your right. (1/2 minute)
  7. You are now at the connector gate to Pleasanton Regional Park.

*****          *****          *****

PART II

As you enter Pleasanton Regional Park you will begin seeing directional markers. I have listed the ones on my route.

  1. A little past the gate, inside Pleasanton Regional Park, is Marker 21. Continue on straight ahead, going down and around an enormous green water tank on your left. (8-10 minutes)
  2. At Marker 22 there are small trails leading hither and yon. I chose to stay on the trail I had been following, the largest one (Ridgeline Trail, i.e.). From my map it seems that you can also take the smaller trail to your left to get to Sinbad Creek Trail. (Since I haven’t tried it yet, I don’t know for sure.)
  3. In about 2 minutes you’ll come to the Brett Whitelow memorial bench. Here you get a lovely overview of the valley below and the town of Pleasanton.

    View from Whitlow memorial bench, overlooking the valley and town of Pleasanton
    View from Brett Whitelow memorial bench, overlooking the valley and town of Pleasanton
  4. Continue straight, on Ridgeline Trail. (5-6 minutes)
  5. Now you are at Marker 26. Continue straight ahead; ignore the trail on your right. Although not indicated on the marker, Ridgeline Trail has now become the Bayleaf Trail. My only way of knowing this is (a) the pervasive smell of the bay trees that surround me and (b) the steep drop below that is Sinbad Creek and Kilkare Canyon. (5-6 minutes)
  6. Wallah! Here is Marker 25 announcing the beginning of the Sinbad Creek Trail. It is now 4:11 p.m. I scan the skies. It is already starting to get dark. Even if I quicken my pace and get back to the trailhead in under two hours, it will still be totally dark when I get there. Sure hope no mountain lions or bobcats are prowling about tonight. The Chaparral Trail looks like a good place for them to be!

4:59 p.m. Sun is setting over the Pleasanton ridge.

Happy Christmas, Hanukkah, and the best of the season for now and the coming new year. See you in two weeks.

San Francisco, Monterey Bay, and La Honda. Oh My!

The Music Conductor

This was a busy weekend. I BARTed into San Francisco for a look at the light show at the new Bay Bridge and for happy hour at Chaya (across the street from the bridge). I also went on a behind the scenes tour at the Monterey Bay Aquarium (awesome!) and today, re-experienced art in the woods at Djerassic, in the Santa Cruz Mountains (more awesome!!).

Friday Night on the Embarcadero

The new Bay Bridge is nearing completion and is set to be opened soon. Here is a nighttime view of the waterfront along the Embarcadero with a view of the bridge. The new installation art piece (an LED light show) is in the foreground of the bridge. (Those are the lights you see in the upper right hand side of the photograph.) It looks like San Francisco is almost ready for the 2013 Americas Cup!

Untitled
On the waterfront of the Embarcadero, San Francisco
image
View of bridge & light show from Chaya’s patio (photo by Brian R)

Moon Jellies and Such, Oh My!

Oh, the jellies I saw! Lot and lots of jelly fishes were on show at the Monterey Bay Aquarium. Moon jellies. White moon jellies. Purple sprite jellies. Spotted jellies. Mediterranean jellies. Can you figure out which ones these are?

Jellies
Jellies, jellies, jellies!!!

The history of how the Monterey Bay Aquarium came to be is fascinating. It involves David Packard (of Hewlett Packard fame) and his daughter who was at Stanford University’s Hopkins Marine Station (in Monterey Bay). The senior Packard was looking for a family project to do with his daughter. That project evolved into the Monterey Bay Aquarium.

The Aquarium sits at the far corner of Cannery Row. The entire area was made famous by John Steinbeck in his books, Cannery Row, and The Sea of Cortez. His friend Doc features prominently in both novels and also on the Row, where he died in a car crash. One interesting note is that Monterey Bay is, in fact, a bight, not a bay. It is more open (less sheltered) than a bay and shallower also. The rocks in Monterey Bay are also an indication that it is not a true bay. A bay, by contrast, is a inlet of water enclosed on three sides by the land. Monterey Bay is not enclosed at all. It is wide open to the ocean with tide pools and salt water constantly moving in and out.

Outdoor Art

Here are some art installations in the woods at Djerassic and also, a window view from the Artist’s Barn.

The Music Conductor (made of redwood branches)
djerassic -woodsprite 1
Woodland fairy?
djerassic -the barn 2
Window View of Oak Tree (from Artist’s Barn)

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: