Today, I visited my 200th park in California! This was a bittersweet milestone for me, because my family and I are planning to move back to Louisiana later this month. We'll still be back frequently for work, but I won't be able to hike this area with the same frequency. I was glad that I got to achieve this milestone before our move--and also glad to go on this hike with a friend. Even with social distancing precautions, it was good to share this milestone!
My daughter and I had a fantastic trip to the main campus of the San Luis National Wildlife Refuge, which is part of the San Luis NWR Complex in the Central Valley. November is a great season to visit--the fall colors were gorgeous and we saw so many Sandhill cranes. I recommend that you check out the "Seasons of Wildlife" page before you go to get a sense for what kind of wildlife you might see on a given month.
Los Vaqueros (Spanish for the cowboys) is a reservoir for the Contra Costa Water District. It is open for recreation, although during the time of COVID, the types of recreation are limited mostly to hiking and fishing. Los Vaqueros charges a $6 day use fee, and it is accessible on the north end from the Antioch Area and on south end from Livermore. Los Vaqueros has 60 miles of hiking, and it connects to both Round Valley (to the North) and Morgan Territory (to the South).
For the past two weekends, my daughter and I have enjoyed return visits to the Dog Run at Del Valle Regional Park.
This 4-mile hike was a repeat of a hike that I did last year in late May at nearby Pleasanton Ridge. It was so cool to come back to this park in autumn when the colors were so different--like two different worlds.
Today, my daughter and I took an easy hike at Del Valle Regional Park along the East Shore Trail from the parking area near the boat launch to the Hetch Hetchy Group Camp (about 1.5-miles total in an in-and-out hike). This was a lovely little return to a beloved park for us!
Yesterday, my family and I made a little jaunt over to Sycamore Valley Park in Danville. I'd been to this park before to hike through the open space part of the park. On our trip this weekend, we just enjoyed a picnic at this very nice city park. I like that this park has the one-two combo of city park and open space park: there is something for everyone!
Last Sunday, I made my maiden voyage to Pachecho State Park, where I took a challenging but enjoyable 5.5-mile loop. I can definitely see myself returning to this park, especially in the spring when the wildflowers must be spectacular.
Today, my daughter and I went for a short hike through Anthony Chabot and Reinhardt Redwood Regional Park. I think that we probably only hiked for one mile, in an in-and-out hike, but I saw a way to extend this nice hike for a longer loop. The Golden Spike Trail in Reinhardt Regional Park was especially pleasant, and it was fun for me to visit this part of the park for the first time.
On Sunday, my daughter and I made a return trip to Pomponio State Beach, which is one of our family's favorite beaches. We had a blast playing in the lagoon that formed from the creek's run off into the ocean.