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Date Sent:      December 31, 2008
Subject:           Start the New Year with a Hike
From:               John Bondon
One of the common traditions with ushering in the New Year is making resolutions. If one of your resolutions this year is to do more hiking (or to start hiking), then you're in luck because we have 2 hiking opportunities this week, including a Thursday hike on the very 1st day of the New Year!

Evan says of the upcoming Lafayette-Moraga Regional Trail hike on Thursday, January 1 at 12:30 PM: "Don't spend all of New Year's Day sitting in front of the tv! Get out for a couple of hours and hike with old friends and new. The trail is fantastic this time of year with the smell of smoke from chimneys and fresh crisp air. We'll hike around an hour, take a break, and then go back. See you there!".

Howard says of the upcoming Brushy Peak Preserve hike on Sunday, January 4 at 10:00 AM: "Let's start off the New Year with a moderate, scenic hike on the recently completed Brushy Peak Loop Trail. ".

You'll find more details about each of these upcoming hikes, including starting time and directions to the trailhead, 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.

And as I promised in last week's email, a look back to some of our recent past hikes, as reported by the hike leader.

Marin Hike Marin Hike On the Saturday before Christmas, Evan led the Secret Staircase hike in Marin. Here are his comments to me from that day:

    " Did we have fun! Six of us embarked on a journey along a creek in Marin County not quite sure what was in store for us. A tree shaded bike path, spectacular wetlands, views of Mt. Tam. Then a redwood forest, and finally, a secret staircase. John, I was thinking of including a picture, but you know what, it wouldn't be a secret anymore, so I'll just have to save it for a future hike! But one thing I won't keep secret is the great Italian pastry shop we went to. At Emporio Rulli in Larkspur, we had authentic Italian desserts including panforte which is made out of flour, honey, fruit, nuts, spices and flour. A man from Italy who was standing in line next to me told me he wouldn't buy it from any other bakery outside of Italy even if you paid him. That's how good it was. I won't describe. With our stomachs full, we headed back, enjoying fresh air, great conversation, and lots of laughter. "

And on the Sunday before Christmas (12/21), Andrew and Howard led the Pleasant Ridge hike. Here are Andrew's comments:

    " We had 12 hikers and 5 dogs for our hike today. Yes, we got rained on but we were prepared for it. For most of the hike it was very light. The dogs were off leash and didn't seem to notice. We all finished safely. After the hike 5 of us went to Stephanies for eats. We enjoyed the food and the waitress. She entertained us with her one-liners. All in all, a fun day. "

Deer Flat Hike Last Saturday Evan led a hike up to Deer Flat at Mount Diablo. He writes of the day:

    " 14 of us braved the upward hike to Deer Flat. We were a little fooled by the warm weather at the base of the mountain and had to shed our sweaters and jackets while hiking up. Along the way, one of our resident naturalists treated us to a view of a bird's nest and a flowering manzanita. Yes, even in the cold of winter there are plants on Mount Diablo that bloom! As soon as we arrived at Deer Flat, sweaty and worn out from hiking uphill, we quickly were chilled by the cold temperature. However, that was not enough to stop us from relaxing at the picnic table for 10 minutes where we snacked and socialized. Going back was fun with lots of laughter and interesting stories. A good time was had by all. "

Wishing you and yours a Happy and Prosperous New Year! See you out on the Trails! :) John

Happy Trails,

John




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