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Date Sent:      November 09, 2007
Subject:           Marin or Briones
From:               John Bondon
First, a report that didn't make it to press last time, from Diane's October 28th hike at Castle Rock:
    We had about 20 hikers total. We decided to give people the option of 5 miles, 6.5 miles, and 8 miles. Since some people had time constraints, Andrew stayed back at the trailhead for the "15 minute rule" while I started the group at 9:00 a.m. I brought flour to mark the trail so as to not confuse hikers when returning since I was leading the majority of the group out to the 4 mile turnaround point for a total of 8 miles. The weather was beautiful and we heard some positive feedback from the group.
Thanks, Diane! Nice trick with the flour, too! :)

Last weekend marked the end of our 5 hikes in 5 days... and it all started with Andrew's weekday hike at Las Trampas last Wednesday, who filed this report:
    We had 5 hikers for the the first of the fab 5 hikes. Although it was foggy around the east bay, it was brilliant sunshine at Las Trampas. Howard takes credit for this because of his frequent emails to Mother Nature. Our hike turned out to be 6 miles because Bobbie led us to a cave on the EBMUD side. Do I see a trend here? Yes, we had our permits.
Sounds like I missed a great hike! Fortunately, after a long hiatus myself from hiking, I finally made it out for a couple of last weekend's hikes, including the Pinole Watershed hike last Saturday. This is a brand new trail that is opening up to the public, surrounded by a beautiful, prestine landscape. Considering it's location, it's quite shocking actually, how much untouched land remains in this part of Contra Costa County! No doubt we will be returning to this location again soon!

Andrew attended Helene's hike last Saturday and filed this report:
    Helene's hike on saturday had 21 hikers plus one latecomer guy that kept losing his way. She leads great hikes. With all the hiking leaders she had (Ted, Diane, Judith, a Docent, Howard and myself), it was easy to split into smaller groups. About 6 of us hiked to Deer flat and returned. The rest did the difficult loop after Deer Flat. John (who hiked both days told me that the loop was difficult), just like Helene said it would be.
I was also able to finally make Andrew and Howard's Sinbad Creek trail hike last Sunday. Andrew recounts that day:
    Sunday we had 19 hikers plus a familiar doggie. Another beautiful day! Again we had multiple leaders. We split into 2 groups. The 6 mile version and the 9 mile version. Special thanks to Claude & Martina for leading the 6 mile hike. Also thanks to Rong, and Marek (Pleasanton residents) for making the carpool possible. Several hikers dined at the restaurant afterwards. Also thanks to Judith for hijacking our hike. She wanted to lead and did a great job. She also likes the walkie-talkies. From now on she is going to be listed as a co-leader for the hikes she attends. We even jogged part of the way down the Ridge. I don't know where we are getting all this energy. We even had a professional hike leader join us for the first time (Meagan). That was her job for awhile. And guess what, she lives in Pleasanton!
What a beautiful day it was, indeed! After many missed opportunties, the planets finally aligned, and my calendar cleared, and I was finally able to join in this hike. Special thanks to all our Pleasanton residents for helping to make this hike possible for the rest of us!

This weekend, 2 hikes are offered, one local, one away in Marin county. A Preview of those upcoming hikes, by the hike leaders themselves:

Mike says of the upcoming Tomales Point hike: "New member, Mike Fahmie, will be leading an "away trip" to the tip of Tomales Point in the Pt. Reyes National Seashore. A moderate 9.5 mile roundtrip over rolling hills, through an Elk herd, to a rugged and scenic destination.".

Diane says of the upcoming Briones Reservoir Loop - Clockwise - Oursan Trail hike: "Adventurous HALF MARATHON hike around the beautiful Briones Reservoir. This hike is classified as strenuous due to the mileage and should not be attempted by novice hikers.".

You'll find more details about of these upcoming hikes posted on the East Bay Casual Hiking website. In the event of RAIN, be sure to check with the hike leader to determine if the hike will proceed as planned.

Happy Trails! :)

Happy Trails,

John




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