After taking a weekend off, I crossed my fingers that the rain would cease and that Sunday would be a fine day for a hike.
Wish granted. Since I hadn't taken in the new Brushy Peak Loop at the regional preserve of the same name, I made the short drive from my home in time for a long, relaxing dayabove the Livermore Valley.
Some might remember the construction of this trail, whihc was finished by volunteers a couple of months ago. As part of that crew, I was moving and packing dirt for a couple of days but had yet to take it all in. Last time I came down there was still much work to be done on the north side of the new loop. But back to this trail.
What I love most about this trail, besides the views from above and the creation of a new "favorite" trail lunch spot, is that it was created as a narrower multti use trail, much narrower than the fire / ranch roads that dominate the District and open to hikers, bikers and equestrians. It is, hopefully, the first of a trend setting series of trails that will add challenge to all user groups as well as maximize the experience of effort - this is not an easy trail, but it isn't so tough it should scare anyone away.
I met one MTB rider who had a huge grin on his face. This trail should be just what the doctor ordered, and opens the door to some alternative methods of managing existing trails. Could, for instance, some of the wide road - style trails be encouraged to grow back to mere paths with some careful plotting? And could those new paths be just wide enough to remain open to all users, and not limited to the hiking community?
I think of local trails like Pleasanton Ridge and Morgan Territory. How many of those trails might be converted to a narrower, wilder path in order to enhance the "outside" feel? Lots of food for thought here. Perhaps some should be left to return wild altogether, and new paths in the image of this Brushy Peak Loop could be constructed. How I'd love to be on that committee!
The other idea that I've spoken of before is the creation of a real, gnarly, wear & tear inducing trail from Mt. Diablo to Carnegie State OHV Park. The west end of Carnegie contains some historic sites which are worth preserving. Imagine a through route from Mt. Diablo, through Morgan Territory and the Los Vaqueros Watershed, into Brushy Peak and then....over the Altamont, Patterson Pass and Corral Hollow. I could spend days out there on a true multi - use trail.
Meanwhile, at "The Rocks" on the new loop (I just gave this spot the name, but it'll be obvious where it is once you hike or ride it), it was all I could do to contain my giddiness. If this is the shape of things to come in EBRPD, we, as residents, are in for a treat. Check it out before it rains too much more. You'll probably find me napping on a rock in the warm sun.....