Crockett Hills Regional Park - January 2019

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Eighteen of us had a good walk in the open space hills immediately south of the Carquinez Bridge, on the last Saturday in January.  There was immense fog or haze everywhere. San Pablo Bay to the west was barely visible, the same for Mt. Tam, across the Bay. 

There were strong winds for the first half of the hike, making it colder than expected. At the high point the wind intensity drove a few of us nuts and we went downhill to find a tree-protected area.     

Oddly enough, later when we dropped down into a valley, just before our lunch stop, the wind became even stronger and was directly in our face.  What a crazy wind we encountered today!

We lunched in a thankfully sheltered place, and after that the wind seemed to fizzle out & become less and less of a factor on the return trip.  

note - you can enlarge any part of a picture by left-clicking in and then out again.       

morning start   refineries at Martinez w/San Pablo Bay behind   overcast morning
  Mt. Tam at top left distant light.. wide angle lens to   capture this Oak    
Carol group break it was windy ! mountain bikers
        Rich
the lunch stop Dave & Kristina leading the climb out   Mt. Tam from the high point
  heading back   giant Oak again    
the hikers & the bridge old & new Carquinez Straits bridges almost back      

Most of us walked 7.5 miles, with elevation gain/loss around a thousand feet.  About five people turned around at the high spot, getting in  5.5 miles of walking. 

Afterwards most of us took a short drive to the Warehouse Cafe, in the tiny town of Port Costa, which is somewhat run down.  While you park at water level, thinking there should be good scenery across Carquinez Straits, what little view there is, is effectively blocked by Amtrak fences.

The Cafe boasts that it has 300+ beers, but their draft beer selection was under-populated, for instance, no Porter or Stout.  I had an OK IPA with a really hot bowl of clam chowder, and the Cafe is an oddly atmospheric place. When I went into the kitchen and chatted with the cook, I could see how hard he worked and the quality of the presentation.  I could also tell he was using fresh ingredients, in such an old dive as this.....poetic, yes.  Or no ?    

It was quiet & not crowded when we were there around 3:30 pm. 

The main cook came by to collect our dishes and in reply to our inquiry about the place, he launched into a recital of the oddball history of this place, but at the end admitted that more than half of what he said was made up, including the number of years he's worked there.  That's the flavor of this odd place. 

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