The Final Push

My Walk Around San Francisco Bay


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I know five other people who walked around San Francisco Bay. They all used much longer routes, and two of them even ran around the bay. They used kayaks, cars, and even a taxi to cross the Carquinez Strait. The new Carquinez Bridge made San Francisco Bay circum-ambulation possible because they included a pedestrian walkway. So, in a very narrow sense, I am the only person to literally walk about San Francisco Bay.
Had to do some motor vehicle recon for these next two walks to see if they are feasible for a pedestrian.
Took the bus to BART to Richmond. Walked up San Pablo Blvd, across the Carquinez Bridge, and down into the bus terminal in Vallejo. Caught the Vallejo #80 back to BART, then the local bus home. Distance = 18.5 miles. Cumulative = 137 miles or 77% complete. 42 miles to go.

There is a lovely impromptu memorial to Raymond on the west side of San Pablo Ave just south of Richmond Parkway.
The next walk was the one I dreaded - along Hwy 37 from Vallejo to Ignacio (south of Novato) -- a complete void -- no food, water, shade, or bathrooms -- just half a billion cars on what's not really a freeway. I ended up doing it with a 20+ mph headwind. At least it wasn't hot.

I found the entire route to be passable for a pedestrian with the glaring exception of the Petaluma River Bridge. If I did it over again (ugh!), I would probably follow the abandoned railroad track (are all the trestles still there?) from Sears Point to Ignacio, instead of following the road. And I am sure the Pretty, Young Highway Patrol Officer (PYHPO) who almost busted me would advise the same.

This whole subject of the Bay Trail and the northern passage needs its own page. I'll add one.

Interesting things seen: lots of dead animals -- a bat, a barn owl, lots of mice, several deer, couple of snakes. A young pheasant stepped out in front of me maybe a few yards away. We walked together for a while, but she got nervous and cut back into the brush.

22.5 miles for the day. A total of 159.5 and 89% done. One more walk to go!
My last walk was from Dixon Landing in Milpitas to the Hayward Shoreline Interpretive Center at the east end of the San Mateo Bridge -- 19.5 miles plus another 3 miles to get to my bus stop. I got a late start and was afraid that I'd miss the last bus. So I just hammered this one out.

I did it!
I have since re-walked and consolidated segments. 179 miles over 11 non-consecutive days with 5,250 feet total elevation gain:
2004: Length of Arrowhead Marsh: 1.0 miles
7-8-05: Arrowhead Marsh to Lake Merritt: 6.5 miles
7-17-05: Arrowhead Marsh to East San Mateo Bridge: 12.0 miles
7-22-05: Lake Merritt to Richmond BART: 14.0 miles
8-13-05: Marin City to Ignacio: 20.5 miles
8-20-05: SF Transbay Station to San Carlos Caltrain: 25.0 miles
9-3-05: Dixon Landing to San Carlos Caltrain: 27.0 miles
9-17-05: Richmond Bart to Vallejo: 18.5 miles
10-1-05: Vallejo to Ignacio: 22.5 miles
10-9-05: Dixon Landing to East San Mateo Bridge: 19.5 miles
10-15-05: SF Transbay Terminal to Marin City 12.5 miles
My son walked these segments with me:
2000: SF Transbay Terminal to Fisherman's Wharf. 2 miles.
2004: Within Arrowhead Marsh. 1 mile.
7-8-05: Arrowhead Marsh to Lake Merritt. 6.5 miles.
7-17-05: Arrowhead Marsh to East San Mateo Bridge. 12 miles.
7-22-05: Lake Merritt to Richmond BART. 14 miles.
12-26-05: Marin City to Fisherman's Wharf. 10.5 miles.
Miscellaneous walks which extend or intersect with my route around SF Bay:
Mid-November, 2005: Walked 12 miles with a group of Native Americans, Japanese monks, and supporters from a church in Hayward on Mission Blvd. to Coyote Hills Shellmound. I heard they were walking around SF Bay to support protection of the mounds. I like that. So I figured to go support them. We were quite a sight.

3-30-07: Joined back up with the same group to walk from South San Francisco BART station to a shellmound located at the base of San Bruno Mtn where it meets Bayshore and 101. I then walked straight up the mountain. From the east peak, I could see Mts. Davidson, Tam, Diablo, Vaca, and Long Ridge. Was a bit hazy, but thought I recognized the Ohlone Pks and Mt. Hamilton. Walked west and north the length of the ridge, dropped down into the canyon and exited by the Bog and Old Guadalupe trails. Then hobbled down to the Daly City Bart station. 15 miles for the day. Maybe 1700 feet of elevation.
7-23-07: Walk from Bay Loop route up and down stairs on Telegraph Hill. 1 mile. 250 feet.