The fireworks were back and so are we! Except rather than watch them from the city, we are stationed across the Bay. Technically it’s “East Bay”, but since Alameda is an island, I’m going to say we’re more “Mid-Bay”, albeit closer to the coast of Oakland than the peninsula.
The driving rains had been endless leading up to the evening. Flash flooding, clogged storm drains, and general soaking wetness was an issue for all of California, so I wasn’t sure if I wanted to make the late night trek to the shore, which was a little over a mile away, but really two miles to the prime spot for viewing.
The clouds cleared around 9pm so we did indeed do the walk across the sleepy island where we saw and heard few people. At a couple minutes to midnight, we were joined by some nearby apartment dwellers who came out to the beach and park to watch the light show over the Bay Bridge.
Having been here so many times over such long periods, I was running out of new dog friendly places to go. Every East Bay forest hike review pointed out “So many ticks!”, so I avoided those. And since Tucker wasn’t allowed his beach & bluff day on Christmas, I wanted to give that to him today.
The main artery from East Bay to Half Moon Bay was shut down due to flooding, so my initial plan to head west then south down the coast was taken off the table. I had to find a coastal destination accessible via a safe road.
Searching through AllTrails, I found a new hike we hadn’t yet done. I have discovered that while AllTrails is great at keeping track of what hikes we’ve done, similar paths may appear as trails not yet taken, and since I didn’t join till 2016, there are over 2 years of hikes with Tucker unaccounted for—except here. So now I cross-reference my own blog to confirm it’s a trail not yet taken. I double-checked that it was indeed “new” to us, and off we went across the Bay.
Mussel Rock is between Thorton Beach and Mori Point, two trails we frequent for their beauty and solitude. Somehow this one had slipped by me all these years. Known as a great paragliding kickoff point, perhaps I just didn’t consider it. But now I did, and so glad I did.
The parking lot was pretty full, but we snagged a space on the side where people had simply decided was now another row of parking spots. I could understand why paragliding was a mainstay here: the winds kept the sun from being too warm.
It being a place for take-off and landing, most of the area was wide open dirt or short meadow.
But volunteers are cleaning it up. They’re working on fixing what those before them broke.
May your new year be filled with beauty and kindness. And where you cannot see the beauty or feel the kindness around you, look within: you might find what you've been looking for has been inside you all along.