The Bay Area Ridge Trail doesn’t offer many opportunities for a mid-hike mimosa. We found one at mile eight of the Vallejo-Benicia Waterfront hike along the Carquinez Strait. If we’d hiked in the opposite direction, we might not have finished. We found no mimosas when we returned six weeks later to cross the strait on the Benicia-Martinez Bridge.
We are hiking the 405-mile Bay Area Ridge Trail. Sign up to follow our progress here.
TRAIL MAP (date hiked)
- Vallejo-Benicia Waterfront (Sept. 17, 2022)
- Benicia-Martinez Bridge (Nov. 2, 2022)
Our Journal: The Waterfront
The hike marked our return to the Ridge Trail after a nearly six-month hiatus. We stepped off the trail in April so Dan could have some heart rhythm issues corrected. Then we got distracted by four-week trip to the Pacific Northwest to see some family and do some hiking at Lassen, North Cascades and Olympic national parks.
National Park hikes are a tough act to follow. The waterfront hike in Vallejo and Benicia never stood a chance as it wound above the Carquinez Strait across dusty hillsides, around the fringes of a wetland, past marinas and through city streets. But it did have raspberry mimosas.
We had targeted the cluster of restaurants in “Historic Downtown Benicia” for lunch before we hit the trail. Hungry and thirsty after eight miles of walking in the sun, we stopped at the first restaurant we encountered with outdoor seating available – the First Street Taphouse. Brunch won out over brews.
Finishing a hike running on raspberry mimosas was a first for us. We hope it’s not the last.
Our Journal: The Benicia-Martinez Bridge
We discovered early in our Ridge Trail ramblings that highway bridges are no fun to hike. Traffic generates noise and fumes. Deck fencing obscures views. And nothing slows the wind blustering across the water.
The most interesting feature of the Benicia-Martinez bridge is a rusty 92-year-old railroad span, wedged between the two plain-Jane highway decks, that still carries freight and passenger traffic. And we saw some pretty spectacular storm clouds. We got damp but not drenched.
Miles we hiked0
(with returns and connectors)
Our Progress Hiking the Bay Area Ridge Trail – 293 out of 405 miles72%