Corinne C. DeBra of Palo Alto has walked around the Bay twice, taking pictures along the way. Her exhibit “Walking the Bay” opens at Keeble & Shuchat Photography in Palo Alto opens Sept. 15 to Oct. 12. Read more on her blog.

“What possessed you to take a 1,000-mile walk around San Francisco Bay?” someone once asked me.

It’s difficult to explain why I took this long walk, and am now on a more leisurely second circumnavigation around the Bay, to people who haven’t enjoyed a good hike or a beautiful sunset along the Bay Shore.

To those who watch the evening news and may be hesitant about going outdoors in general, I wish you the courage to explore and experience something truly wonderful in your own backyard. This same person who asked about my 1,000-mile walk also asked if I’d seen any bears. The bears that once lived in the Bay Area may be long gone, but fears of the unknown often linger and lead to a less adventurous life.

Contrary to popular belief, it was in fact possible and enjoyable to take this 1,000-mile journey.

Through the use of the Bay Trail and a few stretches of the Ridge Trail and the new Water Trail I was able to walk the Bay and capture this wonderful journey through nature.

Fortunately, many birds and smaller animals still manage to survive, often in the margins around urban areas near the Bay Trail, where there are many wonderful places to observe wildlife. The remaining baylands and marshes provide a narrow strip of refuge between land and sea—thanks to the preservation efforts of many individuals, agencies and organizations, such as Save The Bay.

Bay Area walkers and bicyclists owe a debt of gratitude to all those who continue to balance environmental protection with recreational access for the millions of individuals who live in the nine counties that touch San Francisco Bay. The Bay Trail offers some of the best views and vantage points for those interested not just in nature, but also history, culture, art and exercise. The Bay Trail takes you across the Golden Gate Bridge and other bridges; and through over 47 diverse areas that range from big and bustling cities to quiet and serene parks and open spaces.

I’m honored to be involved in two events for the first Bay Day on Saturday, Oct. 1.:

  • Free Bay Day Bay Trail walk in the Palo Alto Baylands that will depart at 9:30 a.m. at the Lucy Evans Baylands Nature Interpretive Center located at 2775 Embarcadero Way in Palo Alto (Distance: 1.6 miles/2.57 km)
  • Free Bay Day drop-in event from Noon to 4 p.m. at Keeble & Shuchat Photography (upstairs gallery) in conjunction with “Walking the Bay 2” photo exhibit.

I’ve met interesting people and continue to discover many new places on my Bay Trail walks. San Francisco Bay has something for everyone. I’ve tried to condense thousands of small stories from over 100,000 photos into a small collection of 47 images as part of my “Walking the Bay 2” show at Keeble & Shuchat Photography in Palo Alto that will be held from Sept. 15 to Oct. 12. I hope that my 1,000 mile walk and photos will inspire others to check out the Bay Trail and come to appreciate the Bay as much as I do.

For information about my walks, check out www.walking-the-bay.com. And for more on the Bay Trail, including an interactive online map, go to www.baytrail.org.

Guest Blogger