Last night I looked up the route, to see if there was anything of interest along the way, but found nothing on Google maps except that there is a short spur off of the main southbound (Santa Theresa) line to Almaden. And near Almaden was the Guadalupe River trail. During the drought this river was either dry or close to it, I think, but now all the waterways are wet, so that seemed like a good target.
I mis-remembered the Caltrain schedule as leaving at xx:24, so when I saw it was 11:14, I decided to make sandwiches and pack cookies and a small water bottle and catch the 12:24 (Caltrain only runs once an hour on weekends/holidays). Parked behind the station - free street parking - at 12:10, discovered the train actually leaves at xx:36. Long wait, but I hacked nearby portals, two or three times and admired passing eye candy.
Off at Diridon (last stop), and since it was right there, went to the light rail station instead of walking to the convention center transfer point. Glad I did, it was farther than I thought. Light rail runs every 15 minutes, it was a short wait for the Santa Theresa train. About half an hour later, at the next transfer point, Ohlone - Chenowyth. The sign said 4 minutes until the next train, so I hacked portals, and changed a couple from blue to green. When I looked up, the 1-car train was leaving the other end of the station. I was expecting it to come from the north, but it is a shuttle between the two stations, so it comes from the south. Another 15 minute wait.
Only one stop along the way, but I am miffed Google didn't show it was for a big mall - Oakridge. Maybe I'll do that trip another time.
Got off at Almaden station, the trail was easy to spot, but not the entrance. Parking lot was in the way. Found it, and the first thing I saw was a large bird fighting off a hawk way up above the trees. Crow? Maybe. A few feet later, the river, but it looked like a trickle.
Until I found the bridge, and under the bridge it was a significant river, which led to a big lake.
Before the bridge there was an egret and something that looked a lot like an avocet, but with lighter head coloring.
Walked along the trail a bit, taking photos and waiting for a couple of bicyclers to move along so I could sit on the only shaded bench and eat my lunch. Saw cormorants on a float in the middle of the lake, mud hens near shore and terns diving. Seagulls too. And a great blue heron winged across to the other side, too far to get a photo. There was a very small orange insect parked on a leaf, maybe a lacewing or something related to a cricket. And the obligatory lizard in camo gear.
Photos are here.
Very serene, a nice place to just be.
But I had a date at 5 in Mountain View, so headed back around 2, got to Caltrain at 3:30 - trains leave on the hour, so more waiting. On the light rail ride along the way I hacked a lot of portals, greened a few, and after one link formed a big field, I was elevated to level 8. Yay! 14 active links, 21 portals owned, 3 control fields active and 36 MUs, whatever they are.
Back to Sunnyvale at 4:36, Mountain View in 10 minutes, had to grab a seat at one of the long tables and fend off people who wanted to sit across from me. Janice showed up 5 minutes late, as usual, and coerced me into sitting outside. It was cold. And windy. She had a fleece jacket, I only had a windbreaker. I am not happy I agreed to that.
Home, parked down the block so the workers would have the driveway clear tomorrow. My American flag was wrapped around the pole again, I thought I had fixed that yesterday. Got out the ladder, took the flag down and saw that the top eyelet holding the clip was broken. Luckily I had a spare inside, so I took that in and made the repair. Spook parked herself by the screen door when I was outside, but as soon as I came in she bolted for the livingroom. Spooked.
Dinner was a Banquet chicken fried beef patty, small portion for a dinner sized meal. Apple turnover a la mode for dessert. Watched the latest episode of Elementary, in which we find out that Sherlock has been hallucinating big time, and forgetting important things. Ruh-ro. But first, Joan puts away the bad guy with some astounding attention to detail.
On the Hugo front, tried reading the final Novelette on my list: Alyssa Wong's You'll Surely Drown Here If You Stay but it was both unreadable and not science. So my votes will be:
1. Gilman, Carolyn Ives - Touring with the Alien
2. Allan, Nina - The Art of Space Travel
3. No Award
0 Vernon, Ursula - The Tomato Thief
0. Wilde, Fran - The Jewel and her Lapidary
0. Wong, Alyssa - You'll Surely Drown Here If You Stay
X. Alien Stripper Boned From Behind By The T-Rex [Removed from my ballot and the author does not deserve to be named here. I had high hopes, but the writing sucked sooooo much]
Delivered: a set of six garden path lights, which I assembled and poked into the ground in strategic places. One will need assistance from a hammer. Maybe tomorrow. And a pair of bluetooth speakers, which pair with my phone but not with my smart hub or Google Home or Google Play Music. Not what I wanted, they will be going back. Unless I want an echo dot. Probably not.
It looks like Google Home only supports Bose and Samsung speakers. Oh wait, that's the smart hub.
Plans for tomorrow:
Up and ready for the contractors by 9 am, they may be late.
If they are done by lunchtime, head for work