Spring Time On The Bay Trail

It’s springtime on the Bay Trail and after all of the rain, the drought is over in California making it a happy time for plants, flowers, birds, bees, and me! I’ve been biking the Bay Trail for decades on and off but since Feb. 20th, 2016 I’ve been riding regularly and taking photographs of the Bay Trail on my rides.

I’m thankful that I live close enough to ride this beautiful nature trail all year around and my photographs have grown into an amazing collection.  The photos in this post are from this spring (2017) and I hope you enjoy them as much as I did taking them.

If you check out my sidebar you can see even more of my photos and I change it occasionally so always check for more. 

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The water levels in the bay and surrounding natural sloughs are always changing with the tides. There is mud on the far left, deeper water channeling in the middle and shallows on the right. The patterns in the mud and water are always changing and I find them awesome. Nature is the best artist.

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There are crushed shell beaches along the San Francisco Bay that are great for walks when I need a bike break. The white is a nice contrast against the colors of the various plant life. This is low tide and in the distance is the San Mateo Bridge which is highway 92.

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Take a walk through Coyote Point, a 670-acre park which houses a yacht harbor, the CuriOdyssey museum and lots of places for picnics/cookouts all within a small forest of Eucalyptus trees. The paths up and down the cliffs are breathtaking with views of San Francisco, the airport, and the peninsula shoreline. There’s a full golf course nearby, a pistol/rifle range, and a playground. Kite and windsurfing are just some of the sports enjoyed here and the Bay Trail runs through it.

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Coyote Point used to be much more! As you can see here it was the Merchant Marine Cadet School in 1942 and after that, the College Of San Mateo campus until 1962. Coyote Point used to be an island connected by marshlands to the mainland. It’s now landfill turned into a golf course.

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The yacht harbor at Coyote Point with wildflowers in the forefront. Some of the flowers were brought in and some are natural it’s hard to tell which is which anymore but they’re all lovely to look at.

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I love to look for everyday shapes in nature like this rock that’s shaped like a heart. The yellow blooms are ice plants they bloom year round but go crazy in the spring.

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Just look at these yellow flowers, there were only 2 bushes like this. While I was taking close-ups of the flowers I almost missed this tiny hummingbird. The back of his head was bright red but my camera didn’t pick it up.

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This was one of my favorite flowers this year due to the color and detail but they weren’t around for long.

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Daisies are found all along the Bay Trail of numerous kinds and colors.

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After the purple blooms, little white flowers come out from the insides of these flowers.

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After all of the rain, we had many kinds of mushrooms growing. Not edible but very interesting.

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I like the striped petals and color of this flower. I tried to look up some of these flowers using Google Image Search but wasn’t that successful. It’s not a perfect system.

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Even the trees are amazing along the Bay Trail. That’s San Francisco in the distance but look at this tree! The foliage along the cliffs at Coyote Point and along the bay are bent and twisted from the winds and weather into some neat shapes.

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There are so many different flowers in this world and I never tire of them.

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These have yellow centers that look like the color’s running. Some are bushes some are single flowers.

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This was one of the first flowers to bloom and the petals look like someone crushed them but that’s how they grow. There’s still some left as of this write.

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Aren’t these pretty with the spotted petals? They are tiny things.

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Can you see the hawk in the center of this photo? The yellow and purple blooms are ice plants. They close at night and open with the sun.

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Get a load of these colors! They’re almost done blooming now. (These look like, but aren’t ice plant blooms.)

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The petals and shape of this flower are interesting!

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Bottlebrush flowers are the Hummingbirds favorite. I had a few trees near my patio once and didn’t need to have a feeder.

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These purple, white or pink flowers on stalks are the bees favorite and they will swarm you if you get too close. The tree (with the bare branches) looks dead but it’s not. I never see anything grow on them so it’s a mystery to me. That spot in the sky is not a plane it’s a bee.

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Can’t leave out California poppies. Bright orange, you see them everywhere even in the middle of the freeway. This year down south they had so many bloom that they could see them from the Space Station. They call that a super-bloom.

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These tiny yellow flowers grow everywhere in the wild grass.

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I had to include this cactus in a nearby garden although there are plenty of succulents that grow wild. I’m still waiting for it to bloom. (The ice plants are succulents.) Love those tiny blue flowers too!

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I could show you more flowers and plants but that’s enough for today. I’m closing with this photo of some stunning clouds above the San Mateo Bridge at low tide. The bay and sky are ever-changing from minute to minute. The birds are busy feeding and everything is peaceful on the Bay Trail.

This site is fairly new but I’m troubled by the lack of comments. Please leave your thoughts I’m waiting to hear them. If you want me to write about something now’s the time to let me know. I plan on more articles about health and biking but surely there’s something you want to hear?

Happy 200th Anniversary to the Bicycle! Read about it from the Wall Street Journal.

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Dealing With Sickness

The trail ahead finally came to an end as the sign clearly said, “No Bikes” causing me to turn around and head home.

Little did I know that when I biked this new trail on March 29th going 23 miles round trip, that the very next day I would become deathly ill with the creeping crud that’s going around. My roommate was already complaining about coming down with it from his work-mates, but since he wasn’t staying home from work or acting very sick I just ignored his warnings. I’d had my flu shot like I get every year and I never get sick! Famous last words.

I woke up the next day with a small cough. I keep a glass of water by the bed because I get a dry mouth at night so that’s what I was thinking that morning as I gulped some water. I felt fine and was proud of my 23-mile ride, even bragging about it to my best friend.

I bike every other day come rain or shine and today was an off day so I planned to get some steps in between my writing and bragging. As the day went on I felt bad and it overcame me so fast that by nightfall I had a fever of 101.5, a headache that wouldn’t go away and was coughing so hard I thought my head would explode. I actually saw lights inside my head and immediately all my new-found energy was gone. For the first time in years, I was sick and all I could do was crawl into bed.

I felt betrayed by my body, after all, everything I’d read told me that people who sleep right, eat right and exercise don’t get sick as often as the average person. In fact, I read that a healthy person only gets sick half as much as the rest of the population. I was angry that I couldn’t get on my bike and felt that all of my hard work of the last 6 months was being lost. I was angry and felt depressed for the first time in ages.

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After a few days of this negative thinking while laying in bed it came to me. I had become part of the problem. There was nothing I could do about getting sick, I had done everything right and still caught the bug. All I was doing with my bad attitude was making things worse for myself. I stopped my complaining and refocused on taking care of myself.

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Just as I’d learned how to be healthy again after decades of bad habits I relearned the importance of  patience and acceptance. Once I did, my week of sick time passed, my fever broke and I felt ready to get back on my bike.

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On Tuesday, April 5th, I got dressed to go biking for the first time since being sick. It was a sunny, windy day nothing unusual for the Bay Area in the springtime. I was weak but feeling happy.

The first thing I noticed was the wind gusts hurting my ears which never happened before. I pulled over and used my ear buds without plugging them in which happened to work. I was puzzled since I had no ear aches and on the way home I was able to remove them with no further problems.

After the first half of my ride, I noticed a lack in stamina and my back was hurting. My endorphins never kicked in and I wasn’t enjoying my ride. I still had plenty of strength for hills but wasn’t feeling it. I had to bike against the wind gusts on the way home and as soon as I got in the door I peeled my clothes off and fell back into bed.

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After sleeping a few hours I got up had something to eat and started hydrating myself. I’m not young anymore and had a private laugh at how silly I was expecting to just fall back into my biking routine after being so sick. Instead of getting upset this time, I made sure my choices the next day were well balanced towards good health hoping to have a better outcome.

On Thursday, it was a gorgeous day with high temps, low wind gusts and sun. I did my normal route this time, it was much better and more enjoyable. I finally felt that it was all coming together again.

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Yesterday it was lightly raining when I went out and the weather report said rain so I expected it but by the time I got to the San Mateo Bridge it was pouring and I was soaked. I usually go under and past this bridge but I had 4 and 1/2 miles to ride to get home so I headed back rather than take a chance on catching cold. There were no wind gusts so I made good time.

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Before I got back home I stopped to photograph 2 jackrabbits that were chasing each other in the rain oblivious to me. This is the best picture I got of them and all you can see are the ears sticking up on one and the head on another. Bad weather brings the animals out they feel safe because people aren’t out in the rain. I see more animals during bad weather it doesn’t keep me from biking.

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When I got sick last week I felt that my body betrayed me, that all of my hard work biking was lost and that I’d have to start over again. Then I rediscovered what I already learned, that balance is the key to good health, mental and physical, and the weakness was in my mind not my body.

With the right balance of sleep, healthy food, exercise, and water, with a little fun thrown in, you won’t have time for depression or unhappiness. We all get sick but the better you treat your body the more resources it will have to protect you and your mind in times of stress.

Treat your body well and your mind will follow.

Look What I Found On My Ride

Yesterday when I was on the return leg of my trip I saw something dark on the trail ahead. As I pulled up I saw it was a young seal! It was right in the middle of the trail and I saw a cyclist stopped nearby talking on his cell phone. He was calling the Marine Mammal Rescue Center in Sausalito so I pulled over to assist.

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Seal in danger! Cyclist’s and even state vehicles pass through here.

I found out his name was Luke and he was talking to the rescue people. While I waited to find out what they said I dialed a few numbers. The Humane Society was not helpful at all telling me they “didn’t do marine mammals.” I found them cold and not willing to even give me a phone number that would help. In fact, everyone was passing the buck. It made me sad.

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I carefully herded him into the grass on the side of the trail. Look at how much his coat shines in the sun.

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Once in the grass, he looked at me and seemed curious. It was lucky he was young because full grown, these seals can be vicious even attacking people.

Luke was instructed to take a photo of the seal to send to the rescue center. He did so and was told they’d send someone out. Sausalito California is far away but they said they’d find a local volunteer.

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Look at that face!

I called the same rescue center myself for good measure. They acted like they didn’t know about it even though Luke had called and sent a photo. They told us they’d send someone out. I had to be somewhere by 6pm so I had time to wait. Luke had to go back to work so I sat on a nearby bench watching.

Many people passed by not even seeing this little guy. A few people stopped and one guy was touching him. I asked him to stop telling him it was vicious and would bite him. I was just stretching the truth a little to make him leave the poor thing alone. He backed off. I can’t believe how ignorant and selfish people can be. You should never touch a wild animal unless you have to.

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I figured out that he went up the walkway (see map) and ended up on the trail. These rocks are big and sharp he wouldn’t have made it over them otherwise. You can see the bench I sat on.

I was worried because 3rd street (in Foster City) is not far away. I have to hope the seal just went back the way it came after sunning itself. After waiting over an hour taking videos and photos no one came to even check it out and make sure it wasn’t sick. They may have shown up after I left but I don’t think so they just didn’t seem interested.

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I think this seal was a little girl. Once she fell asleep she was unconcerned about the lack of care or the problems of the human world.

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What looks clumsy on land makes seals acrobats in the water.

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The seal checks me out as I check her out. You can see the city street behind us. In many areas the Bay Trail is close to city streets and highways.

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Begrudgingly I left to go home missing one of my afternoon appointments but what a story and experience.

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It was an extremely windy day going home with gusts up to 26 miles an hour making whitecaps on the water. The wind surfers were out in force if you look closely you can see them “making air” with San Francisco in the background. I almost got blown off of my bike and had quite a workout!

Seals showing up in people’s yards and in city streets is just a part of the spring season when they have pups and seek out places to keep them safe not realizing these places are inhabited. There was a story on TV this week about a small California fur seal pup being found in a front yard in Fremont. This young seal is the same kind.

It was such a precious experience yesterday, one I could never have had without my bicycle. I’ve seen the sea lions that hang around Fisherman’s Wharf but never see the seals especially up close. I’ll never forget this day and hope the young, unnamed seal is swimming in the bay and happy.

My videos from my cell phone aren’t the best but I uploaded the seal videos I took to YouTube. Check them out on my channel.

Marine Mammal Rescue Center, 415-289-7325 (seal), you should be ashamed of yourselves! Telling us you would send someone out and then not following up. At the very least, you could have called me back to update the situation. There’s no excuse.

When the wind works against you get a sail.