Hey Outdoor Afros-
We hope you'll join us for a hike on the Veterans Day Holiday as we remember the Heroes of the Port Chicago explosion. We will do this hike RAIN OR SHINE!
The hike will be 2.33 miles round trip with a total of 600 feet elevation gain.
The entrance gate for the Mt. Wanda Area is located by the Park & Ride lot on Franklin Canyon Road and Alhambra Ave. The first ½ mile has a 400 foot elevation gain to the nature trail, and then one mile to the top. We will be taking a leisurely pace, with plenty of stops. Depending on the group size, we anticipate that the duration of the hike will be a little over an hour.On the way up, we'll be treated to beautiful views of the fall foliage.
During World War II, Port Chicago was a segregated naval munitions base on the outer shores of San Francisco Bay. Black seamen were required to load ammunition onto ships bound for the South Pacific under the watch of their white officers—an incredibly dangerous and physically challenging task.
On July 17, 1944, an explosion rocked the base, killing 320 men—202 of whom were black ammunition loaders. In the ensuing weeks, white officers were given leave time and commended for heroic efforts, whereas 328 of the surviving black enlistees were sent to load ammunition on another ship. When they refused, fifty men were singled out and charged—and convicted—of mutiny. It was the largest mutiny trial in U.S. naval history.
If you’re interested in doing some pre-hike homework, check out the following links:
10 minute video on Port Chicago
20 minute story on This American Life
THE HIKE AND THE HISTORY
While on the hike we will be stopping along the way to share stories and learn more about the bravery and challenges of the 328 African American seamen of 1944 Port Chicago.
The Port Chicago National Memorial is currently closed to the public, and this hike will not include a tour of the base. However, on a clear day, you can view Port Chicago from the top of Mount Wanda. We're planning a program that will include learning about Port Chicago on the way up Mt. Wanda and viewing the naval base from the summit.
Also, Mount Wanda is located near the John Muir National Historic site, interested Afros can stick around and take a tour of John Muir’s house at 2 pm.
RECOMMENDED ATTIRE AND FOOD
Please wear good walking shoes and comfortable clothes. I’d recommend a rain jacket/windbreaker and a sweatshirt/fleece.Bring your own drinking water and trail snacks.
Dogs are permitted, but must stay on leash.
Carpooling is encouraged! The parking lot at the base of Mt. Wanda is small. Overflow parking will be at the John Muir National Historic site at 4202 Alhambra Ave Martinez, CA 94553.
Please bring a signed copy of the Outdoor Afro waiver:
Hope to see you there!