Expedition 19: McCrea Park

December 7, 2023. This ended up being a short expedition because I got rained out after this first stop. I visited this Oakland park once years ago after I happened to spot the fly casting pools from the street and wondered what those odd things could be. I couldn’t find any information about the circular shapes, but I think they are targets to cast into (since confirmed by a friend). There are handy dandy stands for your fishing poles too. There are casting games here twice a month and also tournaments. 

The park feels hidden, tucked under CA-13. Beyond the casting pools are fishing ponds that used to be stocked with trout, apparently till about 2009. The ponds were built on top of Leona Creek. There is still some water running through the ponds but not enough for trout. The water seems stagnant. 

The only wildlife I saw was this dozing duck (middle left of the photo). In the background, you can see the little house where the pond caretaker lived (thanks to Oakland Geology for this history). There are quite a few picnic tables, some accompanied by these cool kidney-shaped concrete aggregate tables.

Farther south the path becomes overgrown. I walked far enough to see a culvert going under CA-13 that the sewer feeds into. Before that, you can turn left and cross over the open concrete trough the sewer runs through. There are warning signs that the water is dangerous and dirty; seems weird that it’s not covered, doesn’t it? Much of the cyclone fencing here has fallen down. 

I crossed over the sewer trough I walked up the stairs and over the freeway to Leona Heights Park. I walked a short distance on the York Trail and came to a dead end where a tree has fallen across the trail. There was a little altar set up there but I didn’t feel comfortable photographing it because I didn’t understand why it was there. It’s a mystery! It’s possible that you can circumvent the wooden path with metal handrails, but the terrain is pretty steep and since it had been raining it was slippery and muddy. Another time! 

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