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Date Sent:      November 21, 2008
Subject:           Last Sunday: A Herd or River of people
From:               John Bondon

Elderberry Trail Hike Nov 16, 2008 Elderberry Trail Hike Nov 16, 2008 Last Sunday Andrew and Howard led the Elderberry Trail hike at Las Trampas. Here are Andrew's comments about that day:

    " Wow! I counted 64 hikers and 5 dogs. That's the most we have ever had and all but one finished. Special thanks to yourself, Prachi, and Paul for assisting. Howard and I would have been overwhelmed by so many hikers. We were at different parts of the pack, communicating via walkie talkie. The hike went very smoothly. There were 9 of us at Erik's Deli afterwards. It was a beautiful autumn day. One to remember. "
I think Lucy summoned up the sight of those 64 hikers best, as "a herd or river of people". Quite a sight indeed! Also noteworthy was the level of air pollution that day. Having lived in Southern California for a few years myself, I'm no stranger to bad air quality, and although our air quality isn't typically as bad as Southern California or the Central Valley, I've watched it steadily and rapidly decline over the past decade. But Sunday I had never seen it so bad here in the Bay Area. The air quality was so bad, in fact, that from the ridge line looking out towards the north east, you couldn't see the towns of Concord and Walnut Creek below, nor the towns of Danville, San Ramon, and Dublin to the east and south east! A thick layer of haze blanketed the Bay Area in all directions as far as the eye could see.

Elderberry Trail Hike Nov 16, 2008 Elderberry Trail Hike Nov 16, 2008 I remember making a comment to my wife that morning on just how bad the air quality was as we jumped on the freeway in Walnut Creek. Little did I know, that my comment should have been a red flag warning to myself for the day's hike. As it turned out we had 2 hikers who suffered asthma problems as a result of the poor air quality. The first hiker turned back very early on, realizing her limits and that she shouldn't continue on. The 2nd hiker didn't become noticeably affected until we reached about the halfway point of the hike. Thankfully both hikers had brought their inhalers and both hikers made it back safely.

You can view more photos from this hike online at our Photobucket site: http://s307.photobucket.com/albums/nn282/eastbaycasualhiking/Las%20Trampas/?start=all



A Preview of our next hike:

Andrew says of the upcoming Brushy Peak Preserve hike on Sunday at 9:30 AM: "I think I know why the native Americans thought this place was sacred. You just have to come with us to find out why.".

The Contra Costa Times recently did a write up about the new loop trail at Brushy Peak. Read it online at http://www.contracostatimes.com/pittsburg/ci_10859101 .

You'll find more details about this upcoming hike posted on the East Bay Casual Hiking website. In the event of rain, please check with the hike leader as to whether the hike will proceed as planned.

Happy Trails! :)

Happy Trails,

John




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