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5-day East Bay Hills Trails Benefit Hike--September 1-5

From: Morris O.
Sent on: Saturday, May 22, 2010 1:11 PM
Hi all--

You are invited to join us on a 5-day Hike on the Bay area Ridge Trail, from Martinez to Castro Valley, including the newest section, opening June 5th at Fernandez Ranch

Details: Hikers will cover 40 miles of the Ridge Trail and about 20 additional miles nearby, with opportunities for as many extra miles as you care to handle! The hike is fully supported, with chef-prepared meals, evening entertainment, and campsites included. We shuttle your gear between campsites.

We will offer BART pick up at the start and drop off at the end of the ride, but it will also be possible to coordinate vehicle shuttles from camp to camp.

For pictures from last year's hike, please see the Ridge Trail Council's Facebook page. For more information on the equestrian ride, visit the Tilden Wildcat Horsemen's Association at

Costs: This event benefits the Bay Area Ridge Trail and other East Bay trail projects. The $225 for all 5 days (or $50 per day for fewer than 5 days) includes camping, food, and entertainment. For visitors, dinner in camp will be $15/night.

Full 5-day sign-ups will be given priority for spaces until July 15th, so if you want to hike only part of the hike you will be on a waiting list until then. This 3rd annual East Bay Hills Trails Benefit hike is being held in conjunction with the 9th annual East Bay Hills Trails Benefit Horseback Ride; together the 2 events have raised $120,000 for the trails in the last eight years.

Volunteers are needed: If you cannot hike, join us to volunteer and help with the important tasks that will make this event happen.

For more information, contact Morris Older:[masked], [address removed] or Bob Siegel at [address removed] or Joel Gartland:[masked], [address removed]--and/or go to the listing for this event on the Bay Area Ridge Trail and More Meet-Up Group's calendar.

Here is what Donna Jones, a Santa Cruz Sentinel reporter, had to say about last year's hike...

"From Seaview Trail in Tilden Park, San Francisco floated between blue sky and bay. The day was so clear, the distance so deceiving, the city looked like a miniature, the Transamerica Pyramid a toy to reach out and pluck. I traced a finger across the Golden Gate Bridge, where sunlight glanced off cars crossing the span toward Mount Tam.
"The city disappeared as we rounded curves above San Pablo Bay. Soon we were walking past sun-bleached hills, where cattle grazed. From the limb of a eucalyptus tree, a great horned owl watched us, swiveling its head this way and that before spreading its wings and gliding out of sight. A mile or so farther, a golden eagle launched from a hillside.
Amazing wildlife, astounding views. What more could you ask for on a long hike? How about a congenial group to provide fascinating stories along the way? Oh, and great food and entertainment at the end of the day.
"That?s the Bay Area Ridge Trail Council and Tilden Wildcat Horsemen's Association's East Bay Hills Trails Benefit Ride and Hike, a five-day trek from Castro Valley to Martinez. The 7-year-old event added hikers last year, and I was fortunate to be in the inaugural group. This year, regrettably, I could only make the last two days.
"Still, I can?t imagine the other three were any better. The weekend weather was perfect, sunny and warm, but with a breeze that kept temperatures from blazing into the uncomfortable.
"Saturday, the 10-plus miles from the campsite at Sequoia Arena in Joaquin Miller Park to Es Anderson Equestrian Camp in Tilden took us up and up and up ? admittedly, a very tough climb ? through Redwood Regional Park and Huckleberry Botanic Regional Preserve to Sibley Volcanic Regional Preserve for lunch. Along the way we nibbled on a few late huckleberries and looked out across iconic golden hills to Mount Diablo. After lunch we strolled from Sibley to Tilden, where several of us rested while riding the pint-sized steam train.
"After a dinner of jambalaya, friends shared their memories of the late Ron Brown, whom I didn?t know but after hearing of his achievements, his dedication to the trail, I wished I had.
Sunday, the day of the eagle and the owl and the unbelievably clear skies, was a relatively easy hike of about 10 miles. As we walked, I learned that our hike leader, Gary, was planning to bike and hike from Death Valley to the top of Mount Whitney in a couple of weeks. Kimlin, who like me hails from Santa Cruz County, shared her recent experience walking hundreds of kilometers on the famed Spanish pilgrimage trail, Camino de Santiago, and Liz told me about joining a group of women for a recently completed series of hikes across California, from Wilder Ranch in Santa Cruz County to the Nevada border at Lake Tahoe. Like I said, an interesting group, and I?m sure there would have been more stories to hear if I had been along for the entire five-day journey.
"We ended the day at Muir Heritage Land Trust?s Sky Ranch, where yellow tarplant cloaked windswept hills. The ranch overlooks Martinez, where John Muir once lived. Subdivisions crawl up the hills, but I think the famed naturalist would be pleased to see how much open land remains, protected in perpetuity.
"After a ceremony to mark the end of another Bay Area Ridge Trail adventure, Dexter and I walked down the hill to the cars that would take us back to our lives, wondering why the hike had to end. Thankfully, there?s always next year."

That article and a whole lot more come from last year's hike and ride newsletter

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