October 16, 2022

I spent the weekend again on the San Francisco Peninsula.  I’m taking care of some business, but had time to check out the part of the San Francisco Bay Trail that goes past Coyote Point Recreation Area.  Whenever possible, I’ve been bringing my bike to the assorted pieces of the Bay Trail that covers 330 miles around the Bay.  Construction for this trail was approved in 1989 with the ultimate goal of correcting the full 500 miles of completely connected bike trails.

From Coyote Point

I had hoped to take the trail from Coyote Point either north or south along the Bay.  The trail north was not appealing, as it quickly runs into some industrial areas and much of it hugs the 101 freeway.  I turned around and tried to head south toward Seal Point.  Again, much of the trail, although confined to bikes and pedestrians, veers away from the bayshore and runs along a busy frontage road that parallels the noisy freeway.

There are some shorter trails that loop throughout Coyote Point Park itself.  They are pretty trails as the park is festooned with tall eucalyptus and cypress trees along with Monterey pines.  Alas, these trails were hilly and not conducive to my faulty knee.

After today’s visit, I decided that Coyote Point wasn’t worth visiting again, although the area does host one of the rare swimming opportunities on the Peninsula.  The blogger Dylan Tweney offers some hints about swimming at Coyote Point in his post entitled Coyote Point Swimming Notes

I decided to take some back roads from Coyote Point enroute to Palo Alto where I was spending the weekend.  After living in Sonoma County for several years, I was struck by the Peninsula congestion.  I fear that the North Bay will also eventually succumb to this type of over-population, but for now, I’m glad I live in the North Bay and not on the Peninsula or in San Francisco.

Just as I wouldn’t recommend Coyote Point for biking, I wouldn’t recommend anyone trying to navigate San Mateo, at least east of the 101 Freeway.  It is a confounding maze and I quickly got lost.  I was grateful to finally encounter Foster City where I recognized some familiar street names.

Foster City is a pretty place, but it is also a remnant of an endeavor to plug up the San Francisco Bay with landfill. (Foster City is built on landfill).  A remarkable film entitled Saving the Bay documents how greedy developers connived to fill up the entire Bay at one point, but were stopped by a handful of activist women.

I finally reached Redwood City, my old home.  And as what always happens when driving through old stomping grounds, memories bubbled to the surface. One of them made me chuckle…the time that someone posted a billboard stating “Beautiful Redwood City: Palo Alto without the Attitude.”  The city of Palo Alto was enraged about this, and the sign was quickly removed.

These were all good memories of Redwood City, and of all of my time on the Peninsula.  I started thinking about memories.  About how often we suppress bad memories and try to focus on the present and the future.  I seldom savor good memories, although I have many.  As we age, we all garner of treasure trove of memories.  It would be wise to leaf through them at times and be grateful that they occurred.  Perhaps that would buffer the difficult realization that also comes with age: the realization that life moves too fast and is far too brief.

Published by susancasslangmailcom

Susan Casslan is a writer and a nurse. Her writing touches on spirituality and issues pertaining to social justice. Casslan lived for a decade in the San Francisco Inner Mission District, and she was greatly inspired by the Latinx culture of that neighborhood. The Inner Mission emerges in her books Conversations with Richard Purcell: The Adventures and Reflections of a Renegade San Francisco Priest and That Which Wavers with the Night, as well as in her chapbook 24th Street and Other Poems. Additionally, Casslan’s nonfiction articles have appeared in El Tecolote, an Inner Mission newspaper.

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