Rock Walk to Easter Way

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On my way to Rock Walk I came across this creatively decorated garage and entryway.

It was a gorgeous sunny afternoon. I donned my hiking boots, applied sunscreen, and brought water. I decided that there were enough hills to conquer without walking all the way from my home in the flatlands to the Berkeley Hills, so I parked partway up Marin Avenue on Santa Barbara to get a head start on an already long and steep climb. And I remembered to park my car in a shady spot so it wouldn’t breathe fire on me when I opened the door for the drive home.

My trek began with two blocks straight up Marin Avenue to Cragmont. From there, IMG_1337I took a right on Rock Lane, where I found the bottom entrance of Rock Walk (#33). Oddly enough, the signage read Rock Walk steps, with “steps” in much smaller letters. Did those who named it disagree on the proper nomenclature? Were they afraid that if the path was named simply Rock Steps that people might expect the steps themselves to be made of rock?

The first bit of Rock Walk was concrete steps with a railing, but it turns quickly into a narrow, gently ascending walkway between houses, where I saw lots of flowers.

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a greener Halkin Walk

On Euclid, I took the shortcut to Grizzly Peak by way of a very steep Hawkin Walk, covered in a previous post. It was still unlabeled–but this time I recognized it!–and riddled with switchbacks. It was greener than last time I visited, this being April after a rainy March.

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At the top, I walked in a roughly northwest direction until I turned right on Rosemont Avenue, which brought me to Vistamont Avenue, where I saw several one-of-a-kind houses, many with signs that warn away strangers from trespassing. Some of the lots are quite large, allowing for sculptures that wouldn’t fit in my front yard. And those art lovers who didn’t have the acreage made do with mounting sculptures on garage roofs.

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Off Vistamont is a tiny street called My Way with only one home on it. Presumably the address is 1 My Way. There’s got to be a story there…

Where the paved street ends, Vistamont Trail (#35) begins. Why didn’t I go to path #34 next, you may ask? There is no #34 on the Pathfinders map. I even went on their website to double-check. Nope. The list goes straight from #33 to #35. No explanation.  So there’s a mystery to solve on another day…

IMG_1329Other than it being narrower and inaccessible to cars, Vistamont Trail is essentially just an extension of Vistamont Avenue. And its unique feature? It’s perfectly flat–no steps at all, which was a nice break from my workout walking up Marin. And one side of the trail is lined with giant redwood trees, giving one a sense of being out in the wilderness rather than walking through a pricey real estate area. From my few available glimpses between houses, I could tell that their residents also have a lovely view of Tilden Park, Vistamont being the last residential street before the park’s edge.

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Any house that requires the panorama setting on my camera is just too big.
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the top of Easter Way

I wandered down Sunset Lane and over to Grizzly Peak, where I crossed back over Marin and began the steep descent. As I was thinking about my overworked knees and wondering if all this altitude-heavy trekking would make said knees enfeebled the next day, a man–not much younger than me–jogged by me on his way up Marin. As if I weren’t feeling creaky enough…

 

From there I took the long swoop of Hilldale Avenue that ends at the middle of a dip of Cragmont that looks like the top half of an “S.” On my way, I passed Billie Jean Walk (#40). But since that didn’t take me where I wanted to go, I saved it for another day and continued toward my next stop…

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Easter Way (#36) may be the longest of all the paths, broken up into three parts from Euclid and Cragmont Avenues, which cross it. It begins right at Cragmont Rock Park, so unlike most other paths, which insinuate themselves between private homes, Easter Way is refreshingly open on one side for the first little bit. There is a slight jog to maneuver once you arrive on Euclid, and I managed to miss the entrance to part two of the path. I wandered a bit south on Euclid until it was clear that I needed to turn around. But I was glad for the side trip because I came upon another Little Free Library that was named for the street where it resides. (Either that, or it was full of geometry books?)

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Back on track, I descended west until I landed on Cragmont Avenue, where I made the exact same mistake of wandering too far south to continue on Easter Way, resulting in another, if shorter, side trip before discovering the sign that pointed me in the right direction.

Near the end of my walk, I found another little library!

If I had planned appropriately and looked at the names of the trails in advance, I surely would have scheduled my trek down Easter Way on Easter Day, if for no other reason than it sounds good. But it was five days past Easter on a Friday, specifically April 1 (which also happens to be my half-birthday, if anyone out there is keeping track), when I went. Too bad there’s no April Fool’s path…

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After all the private property signs, it was a pleasant change of pace to come across this declaration on a door.

 

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This beautiful palm was near the bottom of Easter Way.
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