Friday, December 7, 2012

The (Los Gatos Creek) Trail Less Taken

I took Max for a walk on the Los Gatos Creek Trail - not just any part of the Los Gatos Creek Trail but the first 2 miles - the Los Gatos Creek trail less taken, as it were. This isolated section begins in downtown San Jose at the former South Pacific Coast Railroad tracks (which transported passengers from Santa Cruz to Alameda in the late 1800s) off Auzerias Avenue. It then runs under Interstate 280, crosses Auzerias Avenue (again) and ends at Lonus Street.

The longer more populous nine mile portion of the trail (where multitudes of runners, cyclists and dog walkers vie for space) begins blocks down at Meridian Avenue and runs along the Los Gatos Creek into the Sierra Azul Mountains. On this short downtown end of the trail, Los Gatos Creek joins with the Guadalupe River - and its trails - which empties into the southern most tip of the San Francisco Bay.

Free-standing low tan wall on left behind tree
is part of the original cannery (below)

The first mile is pleasant enough. It wafts through the land on which the Del Monte pineapple cannery used to stand. This land is now home to condominiums and this portion of the Los Gatos Creek Trail has been landscaped.

The cannery building
Photo acknowledgement

After crossing the not-too-busy Auzerias Avenue (and before hitting Lonus Street), the trail is trashed and (seemingly) taken over by the homeless and other indigents. It goes underneath Interstate 280 and huge piles of mined rock sprinkle its vista. I was somewhat frightened by everyone I passed and decided not to take out my new iPhone 5 until I was safely back at the condos. As I took the pineapple express back, I watched an old man picking up trash off the ground. I thanked him for doing so but now I understand why this is a trail less taken.

Cleaning up the park