San Francisco Bay to Tracy

My Walk Around San Francisco Bay


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Mission Statistics: 11 days, 166 miles (5.5 for exits), 10,000 feet of gain.

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This walk starts near Dixon's Landing by San Francisco Bay. The first two entries duplicate my entries for my walk to the Bay Area summits:
9-17-06: Mission Peak traverse. 10.5 miles. Gained 2,200 feet. More hikers should use the East side. I saw one person in 5 miles. -- Had to walk and hitch out another few miles to cell for pick-up.

5-4/5-07: Ohlone traverse with overnight camp near Rose Peak.
22 miles with 5,750 feet of gain to Lake Del Valle. Bagged Discovery Peak (highest point in Alameda County) along the way. Merit badges for patience to Lane and Jim.

This pic above was taken during the Ohlone traverse, looking west. Mission Peak is the bump on the far right. San Francisco Bay is on the other side.
Photo by Lane Parker

Looking uphill to the east - toward Rose Peak and, more importantly, Discovery Peak.
Photo by Lane Parker.

Photo by Lane Parker

10-5-07: Walked from Lake Del Valle to Tesla Rd. south of Livermore. Thanks to Doug for the ride to my car. 7.5 miles, 600 feet elevation. The afternoon started off warm, but it starting raining and then started hailing. I was out in cotton and freezing. My thumbs still don't work right.

Low flying red tail on the road coming out of Lake del Valle. Shot this from the hip.

Looking east from the ridge coming out of Lake del Valle. The Altamont
windmills are on the distant ridge. Beyond that is California's Central Valley.

I figure this is a biker who missed his turn. I never know what to say. I wish you hadn't done that.

Thanks to Eric who bagged me this safety vest. My girlfriend insisted that I get one. She was thinking of me walking in high traffic areas, but it is also useful for finding me if I fall off a cliff or something in a more remote area. This baby is class 3, level 2, rated for 55 mph traffic zones.

11-4-07: Walked east along Tesla Rd. from Mines Rd. south of Livermore to I-580 in California's Central Valley, just south of Tracy. The distance across is 18.5 miles with about 650 feet of gain. This walk crosses the last of the hills to get out of the San Francisco Bay Area.

This segment starts in the South Livermore wine country. These tasted OK to me.

This poor baby was lying on the side of the road near the summit.
The view from the summit looking east -- the direction I am traveling.

Carnegie State Vehicular Recreation Area. A major deal for off-roaders. Yes, they are tearing up a couple of hills, but keep in mind that this is a very small segment of an enormous band of hills just west of California's Central Valley.The entire region is mostly unexplored by outdoors people. There need to be camping parks, hiking trails, etc.

Dad, mom and baby out for a ride. Note the kid's training wheels and Mohawk helmet.
He understood Go and STOP, but seemed unclear on the concept of steering.

Off Road Warrior takes a break after a hard day of pillaging.There had been a 4-wheeler injury. The fire truck arrived first, followed by an ambulance. The woman(?) was finally air-lifted by chopper.

Difficult to communicate the beauty and size of these hills and canyons.
Like I said ... It's unexplored for hikers and campers and deserves more attention.

My new friend

The Central Valley at dusk. I-580 about a quarter mile away. The dark thing on the bottom right is probably a deer carcass. I saw a dozen or so in this stretch.
As you can see, it is getting dark. My plan was to hitch back to my car, but traffic was thin and no one was stopping. I steeled myself for a hard 18.5 mile walk into the night over the mountain without water. Got about half a mile into it when a guy in a car picked me up. In the gloom, he could have seen only the glowing safety vest. Took me to my car. So a very special thanks to Juan Mexicano for the ride.You saved my tocino.
In this modern era, almost nobody walks from the San Francisco Bay Area to the Central Valley, or even thinks about doing it. So it is hard to imagine just how difficult it really is. I'm not talking about the difficulty of walking (although it's not that easy). I'm talking about how the motor vehicle has confiscated all the routes. My route effectively crossed three mountains.
In 2006, a couple walked from S.F. Bay to Yosemite. They had to do a multi-day backpack through Henry Coe State Park just to bypass the freeways. The bicyclists are well aware of the issues and have formed effective advocacy. Pedestrians, and there are very few of us, are at the bottom of the food chain.

These days, when I hear about somebody who walked across the country or some other great walking achievement, I no longer marvel at the amount of walking. I marvel at the research, planning and logistics it takes to figure out how to do it. And that's why my motto is ....

You can't get there from here