Lake Chabot to Dry Creek Regional Park
August 14, 2018
Distance: 22.6 miles Time: 7.42 hours Pace: 3.04 mph Elevation Gain: 3845 feet
I took BART to the Castro Valley station, where I then took a quick Lyft to the Lake Chabot staging area and started out on the Ramage Peak trail. Apparently I needed a permit from East Bay MUD before hiking this section of trail, but the trail register at the staging area was filled with phone numbers instead of permit codes, so I did the same. It was only slightly overcast and cool - perfect hiking weather.
Apparently I'm really good at picking trails that go through Christmas Tree farms, because 0.1 miles in and I found myself humming carols through the field of trees.
After about five miles of climbing through farm and cattle grazing lands I took a fire road and continued to the official Bay Area Ridge Trail, which is also the Juan Bautista de Anza National Scenic trail through this section. I had heard of the Anza trail, but had never hiked a section of it and now have plans to continue this trail system once my circumnavigation of the Bay Area Ridge Trail is complete. The trail follows the historic Anza Expedition of 1776.
My absolute favorite part of hiking in the East Bay is the access that hikers have to lands that would be strictly off limits on the Peninsula. Nearly all of my hike was on well-established trail through private lands used for cattle grazing, yet remains completely accessible to hikers and even feels welcoming. I walked right alongside grazing cows, and the trail worked it's way through fences with friendly signs saying that hikers were welcome as long as they didn't bother the cattle and remembered to shut the fences behind them. I love that.
I enjoyed myself for the entire hike through pastures and over rolling hills, but zoned out through most of it as I focused on my pace and the East Bay marshes far below me in the distance.
I'm pretty proud of myself for completing 72 miles over three days, especially considering that my legs and feet are only mildly sore. I'm finally starting to feel myself build strength and endurance from all of these hikes, and need to focus on maintaining that between now and starting the PCT next year.