Trips before or after the convention
Lots of us like to get out and see some of the area during or around a convention, and some of us even like to get a little exercise while doing it. March in the Bay Area is a great time to do it since it's the prettiest part of the year. Rain is possible and trails might be a bit damp, so if you plan trail hiking be sure to bring reasonable footgear. I will be coordinating.
Let me know what you'd like to see. We especially need people who will have cars and are willing to drive; natives who know the roads are especially useful but not necessary. The hotel is also near a BART station, so trips into San Francisco and Berkeley will be easy and free of parking trauma.
We'll try to organize both longer all-day trips on Thursday and Monday and shorter morning expeditions before most people are up during the weekend. Ideas for all day mostly-driving trips include a Le Guin/Always Coming Home trip to and through Napa County, a tour around SF/fantasy/fannish historical sites like the original Phil Dick TV store in Berkeley, and a tour of famous Silicon Valley sites like the HP and Apple garages. Urban walking tours could cover book and record stores or San Francisco tourist spots like the Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz, Coit Tower.
I have a book of staircase walks in San Francisco guaranteed to wear out the most energetic urban hiker. The Bay Area is ringed by a greenbelt so there's plenty of opportunity to get away from cities, too.
From our base in Walnut Creek, it's a little difficult to get to a redwood tree, but then redwood trees are worth some amount of trouble. Muir Woods is the closest but still quite a trip, and the paved paths, tour buses, and crowds there can make it unpleasant. The Santa Cruz Mountains redwood groves like Henry Cowell and Big Basin are much more pleasant but would be a long day's trip.
Very nearby to Walnut Creek is Mount Diablo, the biggest bump in the Bay Area skyline. It's no Ranier or Hood, but since it's an unglaciated volcano it's much easier to get to the top.
Update from PR 2:
The excursion that has the most interest is one to see redwood trees. I plan this for Monday. People haven't expressed much interest in group excursions for Friday. These are still possible, if people are interested.
In addition, I'm still interested in a Saturday or Sunday morning hike on Mount Diablo. I'll organize this during Corflu. Editor's Note: How about making that afternoon?
If you want to join in, give me a call or drop me e-mail.
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