Sunday morning dawned clear and breezy, cool but not cold. Such a relief to have dry weather! Rainy sidewalks are wonderful, but it was a bit too much of a good thing this year in Northern California. About 7am I drove down to Coyote Point, parked at the northern end of the park by the water.
Climbed down dirt path steps to the beach. The sand near the path was covered with dry leaves and twigs washed up by the surf. Think of a large, lumpy straw doormat. The dry sand further on was not yet warm. Along the water's edge there were pebbles and lotsa small shells which cracked and crunched underfoot. The water felt warmer than the air. A neat time of day which I've also experienced along San Francisco Ocean Beach, down by the Santa Cruz boardwalk, the long sweeping Monterey beach just north of the Fisherman's Wharf area. (So many textures, so little time.)
The sun was well up by now. San Francisco's skyline appeared on the left; the East Bay hills and cities were clearly visible. SFO-bound jets intermittently went by offshore. I was heading south, left the beach long before the !ugh! sewer outfall, and walked along the asphalt bike path towards the park. Decided to see if my winter feet could endure a portion of the path which turns into small, sharp gravel. Made it all the way...didn't need to bail out to the grassy strip nearby.
The asphalt portion of the path resumed, which was now quite coarse. Walked balancing for a while on a four inch wide concrete wall. A graying gentleman (grayer than me), out for a power walk in his tennis shoes, didn't return my wave and studiously avoided eye contact as we passed.
Soon the open grassy portion of the park came up on the right. It had been cut about a week ago, and this morning it was damp, not wet. This is an immense lawn-like area, a good place for beginning barefooters. Since this is a park with a beach nearby, perhaps beginners can convince themselves there's no social stigma! Sometimes there are pools of shallow water in the low places, and early in the morning the shadowed areas can be rather cold, especially in the winter months. There are also several sandy children's playgrounds. Between the smaller grassy areas there are rows of hedges with coarse bark covering the ground. Little pathways lead between the various areas.
Over at the beach, the expanse of soft mud was hidden by high tide. This mud has small pebbles and seashells imbedded, and is sometimes quite sticky! A little further south, a boat launching ramp goes down into the water. Watch out--the moss can be _slippery_. Stay close to the handrail. Down by the restaurant there is a beach of small boulders to explore. Much (slippery) moss on the flat rocks, some small tide pools.
Up the hill is the Coyote Point Museum area. Grassy expanses, eucalyptus trees with long grey-green leaves and marble-sized nuts (check these out--one end can have either 3, 4 or 5 star-shaped grooves), asphalt pathways, more sandy play areas. There's a golf course on the other side of the hill. Haven't experienced a putting green for far too long.
By now a stiff breeze had come up, blowing from the northwest and I headed towards the car along a different asphalt path. This one featuress a nice smooth red-painted asphalt curb. My nose was running, and I needed a hankie. Met a few bike riders who avoided eye contact as they went by. (Barefoot Biking's a Blast! As soon as I bought my first ten-speed I replaced the metal toe-clips with kinder rubber pedals.)
I was a little chilled but definitely exhilarated by the time I got back in the car.
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