Los Gatos to Alviso

All summer we’ve trained for a European bike ride in the fall.  We love to find new bike paths, but our regular training ride is a lovely route too.  Sometimes it is good to appreciate what we see each week and that is what this post is about.

IMG_0318
Vasona Park
IMG_0276
Vasona Lake, looking back from the dam
IMG_5560
In the spring, the backside of the dam was covered with lupine.

Lucky to be able to ride so far with very few city streets involved, we ride the  Los Gatos Creek Trail to downtown San Jose where we catch the Guadalupe River Trail to Alviso, 42 miles roundtrip.

IMG_0229
Percolation Ponds in Campbell, a resource to replenish groundwater.
IMG_0301
Los Gatos Creek Trail ends at the Del Monte dog park.  Water tower of the old Del Monte cannery is in the background.  We ride past the housing in that area to catch the Guadalupe trail.

From downtown to the airport, homeless line the route.  Those without homes like to camp along the creeks, but their presence is detrimental to the wildlife and to the health of the water systems.  For years, we’ve participated in creek clean-ups organized by the South Bay Clean Creeks Coalition.  This group, founded by and led by Steve Holmes, has been the driving force for re-establishing beaver and salmon in the Los Gatos Creek and Guadalupe River.  The group regularly patrols the creeks, organizes creek-side clean-ups, and works with municipalities to get rid of the accumulated trash.  Facebook posts.

IMG_0226
A more elaborate trail-side “home”.
IMG_0212
Some band together in communities, this one under a freeway entrance.  We get on the Guadalupe Trail close to here. 
IMG_0210
Most campsites are tucked away in shrubbery.  One time I counted at least eight tents along this stretch of trail.

The trail skirts the San Jose airport for a couple of miles.

IMG_0208
Great place for a water break except there’s never shade.
IMG_0204
The airport’s “handy” parking garage.

North of the airport, the Guadalupe becomes more scenic with fewer homeless.

IMG_0266
A flotilla of geese in a pretty section of the Guadalupe
IMG_0105
A beautiful great blue heron hangs out in the same area.
IMG_0106
a merganser, maybe

A dredging project has been active all summer, and this past week we learned that the primary purpose of the dredging is to protect wildlife habitat.  All dredging activities along the Guadalupe must end by October 15––after that the salmon will be traveling upstream again.

IMG_0207
Flood control is secondary to wildlife habitat conservation.

Our destination for a 42 mile ride is Alviso, where we can eat a carnitas tostada before heading home.

IMG_0283
Alviso is at the Southern end of San Francisco Bay,  Boating is a big part of Alviso’s history.
IMG_0270
One of several doors to nowhere at the County Park in Alviso.
IMG_0274
Sometimes we have a taco lunch.

Or we can get off the trail at the airport, and swing through north San Jose to eat at the 4th Street Bowl––a journey back in time.

IMG_0319
Looking back at San Jose from the trail’s end at Gold St.  The Guadalupe on the right has not yet been dredged and is filled with reeds and rushes.
IMG_0325
Final rest stop back at the dam at Vasona.

It’s a great ride!

 

 

4 thoughts on “Los Gatos to Alviso

  1. Wow. Evelyn, this is a great deal of information for anyone who bikes and even for those of us who do not bike. I’m impressed. Seeing all the homeless tents in strange places is sad but it’s probably the best they can do.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply to gabyclark Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s