The last few days have been full of many kinds of experiences. I have been out of cell phone and internet range, but will try to put up several posts today and tomorrow to catch up.
I think first I'll add some specifics about my route so far, and pictures, which I have finally been able to move from camera to computer.
Lake Merritt, "jewel of Oakland," from 14th street and Oak, April 6
April 6: ~7 miles walking. Walked from my apartment to Caltrain, rode Caltrain to 4th and King stop in San Francisco, walked to the Ferry building, took the ferry to Oakland, walked through downtown to east 14th street (formerly Oakland Rd.), walked through downtown to Lake Merritt and around, walked a bit further to a friend's house (thanks again to Zanetta, Carolyn, and Alessandra for the hospitality!)
Sun breaking through trees near Grass Valley Creek, Anthony Chabot Regional Park, April 7
April 7: ~9 miles walking. For parts of the Bay Area, I had to take public transportation to make meetings and to keep my daily mileage from swelling out of control. People ask if this is "cheating" in my mind. My answer is, no, as I am still walking the entirety of my proposed route. I don't have any issue with taking other forms of transportation when I have to stray far from my route, especially if it allows me to meet with more people and see more things. On the 7th, I walked 9 miles, and probably took other forms of transportation at least as far.
Morning — took the bus to Oakland Coliseum, walked to San Francisco Estuary Institute. Walked around Arrowhead Marsh in SFEI's backyard. Walked from East Bay Regional Parks District Office to Oakland Zoo, east through Knowland Park to Anthony Chabot Regional Park, through Chabot to my campsite at Lake Chabot.
An oil-change's flower bed, Mission Blvd., Hayward, April 8
April 8: ~12 miles. Walked out of Anthony Chabot Park, took Redwood Road through Castro Valley and Hayward to Mission Boulevard. Detours in Castro Valley and Hayward for food, internet, and to stop at the Hayward Historical Society Museum. Walked south on Mission Boulevard to Garin Park. Unfortunate detour up Calhoun Street and back, then further south to Garin Ave. entrance of the park. Another mile or so around the park.
A break in the drizzle at Garin Regional Park, April 9
April 9: ~4 miles. My first "rest" day. Walked around the park, restless in the rain.
April 10: ~7 miles. Walked around Alameda Creek and Niles Canyon. Backtracked and walked through Quarry Lakes and Fremont.
Steep-sided Mission Peak, with hang-glider above and bay cities below
Wildflowers for Muir atop Mission Peak, April 11
April 11: ~6 very steep miles. Walked to Mission San Jose in Fremont, then to the summit of Mission Peak, finally over the ridge to the campground beyond. Around 2200 feet of elevation gain from trailhead to summit.
Mission Peak from the south, Bay Area Ridge Trail, April 12
Descending from Bay Area Ridge Trail, South Bay in the distance below, April 12
Monoculture of flowers near a private residence in Ed Levin County Park, April 12
April 12: ~13 miles. From Mission Peak along the Bay Area Ridge Trail and into Ed Levin County Park. A few confusing detours led to a little extra walking. A bit more to meet a companion.
April 13: ~2 miles. Descended from Ed Levin County Park to Milpitas. Walked around New Chicago Marsh and Salt Pond A16 in Alviso. Chiefly a rest day
April 14: 0 miles. Rest day
Having recently reread Ray Bradbury's Dandelion Wine, in which the older brother keeps assiduous statistics on his life, I decided to add a small section of my own.
Total miles ~62+ miles, averaging just under 8 miles a day. A straight shot from Oakland to San Jose is a little over half of that, meaning I have walked about double the actual distance the crow flies as I have zigged and zagged. The walking tempo will quicken along the flats of the Coyote Valley south of San Jose and the San Joaquin Valley, before slowing again on the climb up to Yosemite. The trip average ought to be somewhere around 10 miles per day.
In total I've gone from the flats of the bay (around sea level) to the ridges of the coast ranges and back 3 times, and would estimate elevation change from these climbs and descents at around 12,000 feet, though the many smaller hills and valleys throughout the trip would surely add to that total.
I've spent around $50 on food so far, coming out around $6 per day. Not a bad rate, though a few more greens in the diet might be nice....
I've taken 2 showers so far, and have yet to do any laundry. Maybe that is not good information to report to prospective companions, since I only have only 1 extra shirt, 0 extra pants, and 2 extra pairs of socks and underwear. The adventure hat has been worn a few times, though not yet in the city.
I've had 14 meetings and stops along the way, with 11 different groups. I've met 10 people along the way who have heard of me and this blog, or whom I've directed here. Thanks to those who have followed up!
I've been walking during many major holidays, including the anniversary of the first expedition to the North Pole and Scotland's National Tartan Day (April 6), Ponce de Leon Day (April 8), Jackie Robinson Day (April 11), and Easter (April 12). Tomorrow is my half-birthday. April is also International Guitar Month, Keep America Beautiful Month, National Frog Month, National Humor Month, National Mathematics Education Month, and National Poetry Month, among others.
Let me know if you think of more good statistics or logistics, and I'll try to keep track!