05 January 2008

This is the view of my house from about my halfway point in Alameda

Epic. That's the word I consider when I create routes for walks sometimes. Because you always need to have one or two epic walks to pull out as your "go-to" story. Epic tends to change over time. My first walk I considered epic was from home to downtown Berkeley - 6.9 miles. At that time, it was a lot. My next epic walk was from downtown Berkeley to home....not only was it further because of the route (11.9 miles), but I had to climb up to Grizzly Peak and walk back over to Skyline, which is intensely more vertical. Sunday the family decided to go up skiing for the day, and not being a skier, I decided I needed to create an epic walk for myself so that they couldn't be the only ones complaining of sore legs. So I decided to walk to Alameda and back. 17.3 miles, thank you very much. Unfortunately I started much later than I would have liked, so it was dark by the time I got home.....but only just. To answer the questions I've already answered and I know that you have.....yeah there are a couple of rough sections walking down through Oakland to Alameda. Fruitvale can be a challenge. Sometimes, youth + boredom = trouble. Like the kid (which, sadly to me, can be anyone up to about age 25, and in this case was about 17ish) who was with a group of friends and asked me for a quarter then called me a liar when I told him I didn't have one. Which I didn't. Which I wouldn't have given him anyway. Because I didn't like how he asked. However, for the most part, if you put out respect, you tend to get respect back. Plus I walk really fast. Anyway, highlights of the trip: finding out that it's about 5 miles between the Fruitvale bridge (actually called the Miller-Sweeney Bridge - pictured above) and the Posey Tube. Who knew Alameda was this long....and I didn't even enter at the furthest end of the main island. Also, trying to find the pedestrian entrance to the Posey Tube (above). Finally got help from the Yacht sales guy at the Marina Village. Oh, and the two motels right on the estuary which I will recommend to people as nice, quiet alternatives for overnight stays - the Marina Village Inn and Extended Stay America. Walking back through downtown Oakland was a breeze....headed up Harrison to 12th and then around Lake Merritt for a bit. Another advantage to the walk.....scouting out new dining locations. As I headed up Park Blvd. through Glenview, I walked past the Thai restaurant Banana Blossom and remembered I wanted to try it. So a few days later we did, and you can read my Yelp Review along with dozens of others. Walking is good. Walking is fun. Walking reaps rewards - like food. See? There's a method to the madness of the epic walk.

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