Inspired by DC at Fragmentary Evidence I rolled out of Adams Point on my bike this morning, heading for the Bridgeview Trail through the Sausal Creek watershed. I’d walked this trail a long time ago — when I was a kid. (In fact I smoked the only cigarette I ever smoked along the side of this trail with a high school buddy. Mike and his family used to live on Leimert just above the trail and we slipped out one afternoon to taste the forbidden tobacco. I thought Mike was pretty cool, and sharing a smoke seemed like manly act of bonding. I remain friends with Mike, but the cigarette experience was a real letdown.)
This morning I pointed the bike up Grand then south on MacArthur Blvd, east on Park, south on Leimert, east again on Bridgeview to the trailhead where the road dead ends. The first half a mile of the trail was not problematic, even considering the mud produced by this weeks rains. At the top of the trail, though, just before it intersects with Monterey Blvd (the frontage road along the west side of the Warren Freeway) I encountered a very muddy, steep set of switchbacks and stairs. There used to be a cable suspension bridge over the creek at this location—the anchors for the cables are still visible on the ground—but the bridge is gone, so one must slip and slide all the way to the bottom of the ravine to cross the babbling creek. This was a get-off-the-bike-and-walk section of the trail. I encountered several walkers (most with dogs) on the ride up the trail, but no other bikes. When I got to the switchbacks I realized why. This is a great trail for walking, and in the future I’ll incorporate it into foot based exploring.
One of the great things about the top part of the trail is the redwood forest. There are many trees in the 30 inch diameter range, probably 80-100 feet tall — a great little forest within easy pedestrian range of our urban neighborhood. It’s one of the best things about Oakland — our city encompasses some incredibly beautiful and rich natural environments. Add to that our great collection of public art, great restaurants, farmers markets, and friendly people and you have a pretty darned livable city.
Now if we can just teach the squirrel who was rooting around in the planters on the terrace this morning not to dig up our flowers, we’re golden.