It’s an unpromising start: a steep climb up a muddy fire road, with the sound of the freeway down in the valley. But the views are worth it: good views along the valley and across to Mount Diablo.
Dropping down from the ridge, the freeway noise fades and we’re walking amongst old oak trees; gnarled, and draped with nets of lace lichens. There are signs of woodpeckers: standing dead trees are riddled with holes; but no sightings of them today.
But we did stop and watch a pair of hawks circling just overhead at the edge of the wood, almost close enough to count the feathers.
At just over 2 miles, it’s a little too short a hike for me: Bishop Ranch is a tiny regional preserve and you could walk every trail in it in a few hours. But it’s a good option for a quick getaway.