The heavy rains provided an opportunity for the Piedmont Recreation Department’s Walking on Wednesdays group to see Bushy Dell Creek in Piedmont Park filled with water. The rains that had drenched the city earlier meant that the creek would be full on Wednesday morning.
Five members of the group had seen the heavy flow of water 2 weeks before while on a short- cut at the top of the park to Hazel Lane. Last week’s group included 13 walkers and two K-9 best friends.
The morning weather forecast showed that heavy rains would hold off until the afternoon, and it was a great day for a walk through the Piedmont Park.
The group walked past the Recreation Department’s pre- school class in the Community Hall to see the youngsters busily engaged with activities.
They, too, were enjoying the break in the rain and being outside. This was definitely a morning for the young and not so young to witness Bushy Dell Creek with the water f lowing freely down the canyon.
The walking group continued down the main path in the park to the “Cascade.” A nearby historical placard told the story of early Piedmont land developer Frank C. Havens deciding in the 1890s that this creek near his development needed a water- fall. The canyon was never steep enough to create a true waterfall, but Havens designed and built his own artificial falls, which he named “The Cascade.” Much of what Havens created in the park is gone, but the steps of The Cas- cade are still visible, and create an impressive waterfall after heavy rains.
The walkers emerged from the park and walked up the steps to Wildwood Avenue for a look down at Witter Field. They knew that the field had been flooded earlier in the month. This Wednesday, there were still ponds on the field, which didn’t stop a few high school students from playing on the field in the water.
The walking group continued down Wildwood Avenue past Wildwood School to
Five Corners, the intersection of Winsor, Wallace, Warfield, and Wildwood, where Winsor heads down to the Lakeshore Avenue and the city’s border with Oak- land. The walkers had not been on these streets on their morning rounds, so off they went, walking down Lakeshore a short distance, then coming back into Piedmont on Boulevard Way.
Along the way, they enjoyed seeing some lovely gardens, some of which have beautiful desert f lowers, which they stopped to admire. Further up Boulevard Way, Mike Henn showed every- one a pathway that cut through to Sylvan Way.
The group climbed its steep hill to Wildwood Avenue and then on to Palm Drive,
where they admired the street’s beautiful palm trees that, in the 1890s, led
Havens’ potential land purchasers to the Maze (now Witter Field) and on to the park. The walkers were retracing some of the paths that Piedmont’s early settlers took over 100 years ago.
From Palm Drive, the group continued on to Park View Avenue and an uphill walk on Magnolia Avenue, which ends at the Exedra in the middle of town.
At the end of the walk, Mike Henn rewarded the walkers with oranges from his trees, thanks to a supply he had put in his car. It proved to be a nice way to finish up an enjoyable morning where the walkers saw old and new sights.