D. and I have been walking Permanente Creek, which runs half a block from our house, from the Santa Cruz Mountains into San Francisco Bay. Here's another leg of our journey. Here are our pics.
Here's where CalTrain crosses the creek. We approached the creek through a gaping hole cut in the fence along the train tracks.
In the trees right off the tracks we found the remains of a small homeless encampment, and a lot of household trash: toys, busted furniture, auto parts, food packaging.
A discarded muffler. Farther up the creek we found an engine in the dry streambed.
Some weird shrine? I don't think I want to know.
A dog in a backyard across the creek barking like crazy at us, probably the first trespassers he's seen there in ages.
The overgrown path, choked with vegetation from lack of use. It dead-ends at the backyard fence of a house almost directly across the street from us but on the other side of the creek.
According to my sources (http://www.ehs.ufl.edu/HAZCOM/nfpa704.pdf), the materials in this unmarked, windowless building next to the train tracks can cause lethal injury under emergency conditions; will not burn; and in themselves are normally stable but can become unstable at elevated temperatures and pressures or may react vigorously with water, or change or decompose with exposure to air, light or moisture.
The creek runs underground for a couple of blocks as it cuts through a residential neighborhood of apartment complexes. It goes right below the low spot in this parking lot on Route 82 (El Camino Real).
In the neighborhood on the other side of El Camino, we cannot access the creek channel.
Not too many water district employees open the gates to the creekbed.
The bridge over Mountain View Ave.
The cul-de-sac on Arroyo Rd. offers a place to reach the creek.
An impromptu method of erosion control.
We saw these cement blocks all along the creekbed. We don't know what they are or why they're there.
This stretch of the creek was full of spiders!
Wild elderberries growing in the dry creek.
Horsetails growing in a damp spot along the way.
A relatively tight squeeze under Marilyn Dr. We had to stoop to get through. Fortunately it's a narrow street.
Morning glories practically shout "Hello, hello!"
A prickly pear growing on the bank, probably from someone's discarded houseplant. The backs of houses flanked the stream the whole way.
Wild plums, probably also another yard escapee.
There were tons of walnut trees all along the way.
Ubiquitous blackberries. They are everywhere.
The dry, narrow streambed, overgrown with vegetation.
I pass through a sack concrete channel section of creekbed. The sacks are reinforced inside with rebar. People's backyard fences can be seen at the top of the channel.
Cool green leaves shaded our way.
More overgrown channel.
Approaching the Hale Creek confluence. Hale Creek is a tributary of Permanente and provides most of the water in the latter's lower stretches.
Looking up Hale Creek.
Looking down past the confluence in the concrete u-frame channel.
79 + 36 = 0 + 00 ? They do weird math down here.
There were a number of horsechestnut trees along the creek.
A bunch of immature figs on a tree probably 25' tall.
It was right around here that the Attack of the Tag-Team Armpit Killer Bees occured. One bee flew right into D.'s sleeve and stung him just below his armpit. The next thing I knew one flew right into my sleeve and stung me just above my armpit. We'd both been stung by a bee that went inside our sleeves toward our armpits! What kind of freaky bee is that! Our stings still hurt hours later.
McKelvey Park. The confluence of Hale and Permanente Creeks runs in back of it.
One of the ball fields in McKelvey Park, with Black Mountain in the background.
They play Little League here.
1992 champs! Woo-hoo!
The water district is proposing making the ball field into a water storage area for flood control during peak flows. Now league sponsors will have to cough up the dough for snorkels and water wings in addition to outfielder's gloves and catcher's mitts.
Shame, City of Mountain View Parks Division proofreader!
The ticket booth wall. We did.
Right next to McKelvey Park, St. Joseph's school was being torn down. The diocese sold the land and townhomes are going up on the site. A week after this pic was taken, it was completely razed to the ground.
A cross plaque, one of several ornamental motifs saved intact from the building during demolition, seen through the construction fence.