Chris and Marc take a ride
The weather man says that our spring like weather is going to be replaced by rain, so Chris and I decided to take a weekday ride before the rain starts. Being a pair of old retired farts means there’s no work to get in the way of such plans. Anyway, this time I took some pictures, too. And for once Chris isn’t the only turkey imaged :-)
Pics and comments from Chris
Our weather here has been just GREAT this past week, stary skies, cool nights and mid-60’s day time temperatures…until today. Cloudy skies and low visibility with rain due tonight (actually started to shower just after I got home!). However, such threats don’t dampen spirits for a ride by a couple of retirees.
We rode down to San Jose and then East, through residential areas to find Sierra Road which climbs steeply up the mountains. This photo is of San Jose, about a mile up Sierra Road.
Here we are, just another mile up Sierra Road where we’re given a chance to view up the valley toward San Francisco. You can make out (just) the south end of the Bay itself.
You can appreciate the terrain of this country, not two miles ‘as the crow flies’ from San Jose. There are some luxury homes in here….
You’d never see one of these ten years ago. They were planted and have really taken hold in the coastal mountains of California. This is the first time I’ve seen a cluster like this, maybe 45 ‘Hondas’ in all!
This’ll improve California hunting for sure!
In the 25 years since I first rode over this road this ‘playhouse’ has looked about the same. It’s a fixer-upper with a dynamite view! However, until that happens, please don’t sneeze while riding past…
Like the San Andreas Lakes of Saturday’s ride, this one is also controlled by the San Francisco Water Department (Hetch-Hetchy), and it too is fenced-off. The lake is down a good twenty feet today. During the big draught of about eight years ago the water level got low enough to exposed a crashed private plane that had been missing for ten years.
Lot’s of ‘em, 5,10 and 15 MPH types too! We saw only a couple vehicles while back in here.
We are approaching the Spring Valley Water Temple in Sunol. This was closed for a goodly number of years and only recently reopened. It marks the juncture of underground water pipes that carry water out of Lake Hetch-Hetchy and Alameda Creek (the former located within Yosemite National Park’s boundaries). From here the flow moves under the Bay to surface in the San Andreas Lakes behind San Mateo. Remember, most of the water supplied in the Bay Area is marketed by the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission. And it’s damn tasty too!
We played around with the handicapped escalator for wheelchair users, there on the right side of the temple itself.
Now with new owners, new menu and new name! Good eats! Downtown Sunol consists of only a few buildings located at the top of a canyon that was very important to the Bay Area’s growth. Railroads (two), built tracks up both sides of Niles Canyon and it was THE route East until about 1920. An excursion railroad operation runs up’n down the canyon on weekends on the north side, while the Union Pacific still uses the south side’s tracks with all its bridges and tunnels.
I love learning about a road I’d never been down and this was one new to Marco. Palomares ‘T’s-off of Niles Canyou and takes you due map North. I winds through some steep realestate and past some very pricy real estate. This is a picture of Palomares Road (you can get two glimpses if you look close…), taken from Palomares Road.
Nestled in the hills above Oakland, in this same kind of terrain, is the East Bay Regional Park, and it’s big! This is one of the four lakes I personnally know about, Lake Livermore (or so says Marco’s GPS unit). [Marco’s comment: Chris’s memory is going. I said it was the North San Lorenzo (or maybe San Leandro) Reservor or something like that :-]
If only it had been a clear day! You are looking out from the very top of Oakland.
I showed him Paolmares Road and he took me to the Cabot Museum for Space. And Buzz Aldridge I ain’t! Can you spell ‘cramped’?
If you want to change your mind.. just open the hatch and step-out.
This model of the Space Station.. was impressive, particularly when done to scale with a shuttle for comparison purposes.
Treasure Island is the man-made island built off the shores of Yerba Buena Island, the island that the Bay Bridge route passes through (via tunnel). It’s in the middle of the Bay and affords a nice vista of downtown San Francisco. Now, had this been a nice day, this would be a super picture!
Hey! Big boat race on San Francisco Bay! Not really, but you can see why I make the claim!