Point Pinole Loop

Calliope and I went on a great hike several days ago (March 30). We did a 4.5 mile loop in Point Pinole Regional Shoreline Park. Calliope did the entire hike under her own power. I was very impressed.
The hike started off great; the parking lot is right next to the Southern Pacific rail lines and we saw two big freight trains go by before we even got into the park. This was a big hit and Calliope was super excited to see some more trains as part of getting back to the car; more on that later.
We started on the Bay View Trail, which as its name implies, offers a wonderful bay-side route along the San Francisco Bay. Calliope was using one of my Telemark poles as a hiking stick and had a wonderful time playing with it as we hiked. She really didn’t use it as a walking stick; at least it distracted her from drinking most of her water in the first 20 minutes of the hike, so our potty breaks were a bit more normal on this outing. She finally got the swing of the hiking stick, but mostly it was something new to play.
I decided to let her take a few photos on this hike and she grabbed some good ones; she took the third and fourth photos of the slide show (the shot of the bay and the shot with Dad in it). I’m happy to have a nice photo of me for once to put into these posts. We had a leisurely stroll along the bay. The trail was a fire/equipment road and had a lot of bike and dog traffic on it. The bikes and dogs thinned out as you got deeper into the park, but at the start it was much more than we were used to. We took it slow, had a lot of snack breaks, and really just enjoyed each other’s company.
About half way to the pier, I started noticing a lot of trash on the trail. I always have extra trash bags on me, so I started picking up garbage along the trails. Calliope got totally into the spirit of helping Dad out; I was super impressed. It ended up turning into a game of looking for trash along the trail and then figuring out who got to pick it up. In Tilden Park, I usually finish up with 5 or 6 pieces of trash at the end of the hike; on this trail, I picked up nearly half of a Safeway bag full of trash. I suspect it has to do with the number of bicycles on the trails as a good bit of the trash was half-filled water bottles.
We finally got to the pier and had a wonderful snack break on the bluffs overlooking the Bay (last photo of the slideshow). It was pretty windy, so we snuggled up in a bit of grass and had our Cheerios and granola bar. Calliope was starting to get tired at this point and we still had to make it back to the car. I had under-estimated the distance of the loop and we probably had almost 1.5 miles to make it back to the car. We headed back along Owl Alley Trail to Cooks Point Trail. Calliope and I were determined to make it back (well at least I was). It seemed like the only motivation Calliope had been to see more trains which I of course used to my advantage. We finally made it back to the bridge over the train tracks, but there wasn’t a train in sight. We heard some in the distance but they didn’t end up coming our way. So after waiting for some time, we finally started getting into the car only to realize that the trains had been running just on the other side of the road. So Calliope finally got to see some more trains as we were pulling out. All in all, we had a very nice hike and I am very proud dad; I don’t know many almost 3 year olds who can hike 4.5 miles under their own power and who are excited about picking up trash along the way as well.
Total Distance: 4.49 mi
Total Time: 03:32:59
Moving Time: 02:30:10
Average Speed: 1.3 mph
Average Moving Speed: 1.8 mph
Max Speed: 4.0 mph
Min Elevation: -43 ft
Max Elevation: 144.36 ft
Elevation Gain: 187.01 ft
Recorded: 3/30/13, 10:03:48 PDT