Laura Thompson must have known about the In-N-Out Burger in Belmont. If she did, she would have been able to predict what would happen when I got to a fork in the Bay Trail. I would either (A), turn right onto an eight mile Bay Trail loop and walk the perimeter of a peninsula I know all too well from triathlon training or (B), continue straight on the Bay Trail, cross the freeway to In-N-Out Burger, grab a double-double with fries then head for the Belmont CalTrain and call it a day – minus eight miles. So she threw in a tease, knowing all too well that I would take the bait. She knew about the Sky Kitchen Cafe at the San Carlos Airport. All she had to say was “greasy spoon diner with great burgers that no one knows about”. She got two out of three. The place was packed. I took the one remaining seat at the counter, ordered a 1/3 pound burger with fries and a strawberry shake. The verdict – I’ll be going back!
With my stomach full and spirits high I headed back out to the trail and began my loop around Redwood Shores. This was in stark contrast to the beginning of my hike which included a stroll along a canal lined with a houseboat community reminiscent of its slightly prettier step-sister across the Golden Gate bridge in Sausalito. The residents here now have views of a new upscale housing development just across the water so things are looking up, depending on who you ask. This section of Bay Trail is still in the planning stages but is accessible to the public. If walking from Redwood City you will continue along Maple Street east of Highway 101. However rather than turn left where it seems to come to an end just before the Peninsula Yacht Club and Docktown Marina (like I mistakenly did), continue straight then veer left and past the yacht club and the house boats. The rest is fairly self explanatory if you have your maps (or the Garmin GPS of my walk). By the way, the Peninsula Yacht Club is very laid back, if not rustic, and you are more likely to see Bluto hanging out here than Thurston Howell III.
Until the planned Bay Trail is complete along the western edge of Inner Bair Island the trail follows a bike path which extends to the aforementioned fork in the trail. Ah, yes, back to that fork in the trail. Other than the 1/3 pound burger, fries and strawberry milkshake, was it worth it? If you like small, furry bunnies, then yes. If you have a soft spot in your heart for small fluffy Canada Geese – that don’t hiss at you – then yes. If you are a birder and prefer birds to sit still and pose for you while you click off frame after frame of sharp, flawless images without a zoom lens, then absolutely! If you are none of the above but are looking for prime triathlon training grounds, the lagoon here is bathtub warm, the terrain perfect for long runs, and bike paths extend in every direction.
The only question now is this: Can Foster City or Burlingame – tomorrow’s destinations – top the 1/3 pound burger and fries I got at the Sky Kitchen Cafe? If you know the answer, please do tell.