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El Cerrito-Richmond Walkabout

My perfect morning when traveling for business is to wake up around 5/5:30am, down some cold espresso and then head out for a walk to a nearby pool with early lap swimming hours. If I can be about 1-2 miles away, this is a perfect way stroll through otherwise busy city streets, taking in the sights while the caffeine wipes the sleep away.

Thanks to Apple’s developer conference driving hotel rates to the stratosphere on the Silicon Valley side of the Bay and client meetings in Emeryville, I booked a nook up in El Cerrito that ended up being almost exactly 1.5 miles from the Richmond Swim Center ...

...where I got in a great 2,500 yard workout in a lane to myself. Along the way back to my pad, I came across a few good sights.

Near a walking/biking trail underneath the BART tracks, there was a small, sparse patch of wildflowers in bloom. As I passed, an elderly man in a motorized scooter pulled up, strapped on knee pads and set down to ‘tending’ this garden.

I am not sure if the El Cerrito/Richmond area has had recent incidents of intolerance, or if it’s just the general attitude of this area, but many of the houses I passed walking up into the hills had various placards in lawns or house windows.

I didn’t get the chance to walk up the Canyon Trail Park, but it was tucked into the residential area where I was staying. I found it kind of odd that they had apparently had such a problem with people playing tackle football on this narrow trail to add it to the list of prohibited activities.

A perfect start to the day.

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