Pandemic Journal, Day 666

Diane suggested we take advantage of the time we gained from Covid-related cancellations and walk one of the South Bay Striders Year Round Events today. We’d just been to Santa Cruz on Sunday and didn’t want to drive to the Monterey area (much less do the walks around Los Angeles), so our choices were Los Gatos, Campbell, San Jose, or Union City.

We’d never been to Union City, so that was our decision. The event started at the Togo’s in Union Landing Shopping Center; we had lunch there to thank them for hosting the event, registered, and looked at the directions. We had a choice of a 5k or 10k course. It seemed like we should walk the longer course after having driven 30 miles to get there, so off we went.

The route started with a mile or so of back-and-forth along the busy roads near the shopping center to build up distance, but then it took us across Alvarado-Niles Road and into a residential area with a long linear park in its center – we walked the whole length of the park in one direction and came halfway back before the route took us out of the neighborhood.

After more walking, we were finally into the interesting part of the walk – Old Town Union City. We saw the Union City Historical Museum (closed due to Covid) and some interesting old buildings, like the one housing Hippies Brew Coffee, still advertising their soft opening in 2014.

We stopped briefly in the Old Alvarado Park to eat the cookie we’d gotten from Togo’s (tastier than the Mediterranean Salad but less healthy) and look at a bit more of Old Town before being directed to walk a kilometer along Union City Boulevard to the Kaiser campus and eventually to the Union City Trail which parallels Alameda Creek.

There wasn’t much wildlife to be seen along the trail, but the ducks seemed to enjoy being there. I was surprised to see a little art exhibit attached to the fence separating the trail from a business complex – there were no signs explaining its presence, and no one trying to sell the pictures.

We walked the trail until its end at Sugar Mill Landing Park, which also holds Union City’s Flight 93 Memorial. It was a surprisingly quiet place for being so close to busy roads.

And then it was back to the shopping center and the car and home.

This wasn’t the most picturesque volksmarch we’ve done, but it was enjoyable; I think it’d be more colorful in the spring, so we might try it again then (but maybe only the 5k course which omits most of the long stretches of busy road).