Can’t get away to walk the Camino this June? Join us for a local Caminho da Costa with both spiritual and not-so-spiritual variants right here in the Bay Area — starting from the El Cerrito Plaza BART Station and ending at that place across the bay with that very tall building.
Wait, does it involve walking on water? Come and find out. All we can reveal right now is that there will be a path by a creek possibly inhabited by the Pacific chorus frog and some spectacularly scenic walks along the Bay Trail and trails once trod by the indigenous xučyun (Huichin) who lived in the area eons before a 16th century Castilian romance novel gave California its name.
If time permits, we might even have a chance at a peek into the life of Rosie the Riveter and get a taste of the finest in wartime propaganda at a National Historic Park in Richmond.
Schedule: Meet at 9:00 AM for sign-in and briefing outside the main entrance to the El Cerrito Plaza BART Station. (NOTE: This is the first El Cerrito station immediately after North Berkeley.) Once we arrive in San Francisco, we will have a chance to visit a farmer’s market (possibly to pick up something for lunch) before heading over to Sidney Walton Square to eat the lunch and enjoy a presentation about a very colorful chapter in the history of San Francisco by an official volunteer city guide and American Pilgrims member. After lunch we will proceed along streets once walked by the likes of Alan Ginsburg, William S. Burroughs and Gregory Corso; peek into Lawrence Ferlinghetti’s City Lights bookstore and admire the street art in Kerouac Alley. If we don’t lose you among the beat era tchotchkes at Vesuvio Café, you can walk with us to the National Shrine of St. Francis of Assisi – the first Catholic parish (not a mission) to be established in California. We will arrive one day and 173 years after the first parochial mass was celebrated there on June 17, 1849, for the “fortune-hungry hordes” that poured into Yerba Buena during the Gold Rush. The walk officially ends here after which you can walk to a BART station to return to the East Bay or head to one of the scores of restaurants in North Beach and Chinatown for a meal.
Level of Difficulty: Moderate. About 10 miles, mostly flat, on trails and sidewalks. Because of the distance, this hike is suited for those who can walk continuously for 4-5 hours.
Advance online registration is required. Click the Register button to sign up by Thursday, June 16. Because space is limited, we ask that you register if/when you are certain you can attend. Thank you!
Cancellation: If you are unable to attend, please email us as soon as possible at firstname.lastname@example.org so we can offer your space to someone else.
Getting There: This is a BART station-to-station walk so getting there and back is a cinch! Just use the BART Trip Planner to take a train to the El Cerrito Plaza (NOT El Cerrito del Norte, which is further up the line) and again at the end of the day to plan your return from San Francisco. You are strongly encouraged to use public transport if it is accessible, but if you drive to the El Cerrito Plaza Station, parking is unrestricted in the lot on weekends.
Note: Before exiting the El Cerrito Plaza Station, be sure to take the opportunity to visit the restroom!
Carpooling: Registered participants will have access to an online “Carpool Bulletin Board” to post a message if they need a ride or can give one. But we encourage you to use public transportation (BART) if it is accessible.
What to Bring: A lunch (if you don’t want to purchase something at the San Francisco farmers market), snacks, water and sun protection (hat, sunscreen). Clipper card/app with sufficient funds. Good walking shoes are sufficient. Hiking poles are generally not necessary on this walk.
Leaders: Chapter members Merula Furtado and Mike Miller
The Ruff Stuff: For insurance purposes, we are unable to welcome dogs, except service animals, at our events.