View from Grizzly Peaks

In the 2003-2004 school year, I drove to work every day from Oakland to Kensington along Grizzly Peaks Boulevard. The road winds through the Berkely Hills, rising to almost 1,500 feet above the level of San Francisco Bay, just a few miles away. That commute had the most spectacular views of any commute I’ve ever driven. On my way home from work, I could stop at a number of roadside pullouts, and admire a spectacular view of the Bay, the Golden Gate, and the Pacific Ocean beyond.

Today we went to visit my cousin Nancy, who lives in North Berkeley. Nancy suggested we drive home via Grizzly Peaks. We wound up on the highest point of the road right after sunset. The city has blocked off the roadside pullouts and posted No Parking signs everywhere, but scores of people parked along the road anyway to enjoy the last red-gold light of the setting sun over the Pacific Ocean. We pulled over (right in front of a No Parking sign) to enjoy one of our last views of the sun setting in the ocean. In another month, we’ll be in New England, on the other side of the continent, watching the sun rising up out of the ocean….

Foreground: Slopes of the Berkeley Hills. Near distance: University of California and downtown Berkeley. Middle distance: San Francisco Bay with (l-r) the lights of the Port of Oakland, the Bay Bridge, Yerba Buena Island, Treasure Island. Opposite side of the Bay (l-r) part of San Bruno Mt., San Francisco; the Golden Gate is just out of the picture to the right.