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Walking the Scenic Call of the Wild

The Piedmont Recreation Department's Walking on Wednesdays group had been talking about visiting some of the streets near Beach School, but last week, after receiving an early morning text from former Piedmont mayor Patty White advising that major street work on Grand Avenue was creating congestion and dirty air, the group decided to head in the opposite direction for their

weekly walk.

Having walked up to Scenic Avenue before, they realized the day's clear sky would provide wonderful views of Oakland, the Bay, and San Francisco, so they made this historic Piedmont street their destination for the day. It turned out to be a great choice.

The walkers started off by going up Magnolia Avenue past the Piedmont Community Church to Mountain Avenue, up Pacific and then onto Scenic Ave. The group was fortunate to have veteran walkers Nancy and Dave DeRoche on the walk as they have significant knowledge of the

history and homes of Scenic Avenue.

They first pointed out the homes where Jack London lived and wrote his classic Call of the Wild, as well as where early California painter Xavier Martinez lived and worked. They also showed the group other homes of architectural interest and their unique gardens.

As a surprise, Scenic Ave. residents Larry and Cathy Dinnean happened to be outside their home.

Cathy was happy to tell everyone the history of their house, one of the earliest built in Piedmont and with a commanding view of the Bay. She brought out a framed San Francisco newspaper over 100 years old that featured her house.

The newspaper identified and showed pictures of a group of homes that were built before the San Francisco Earthquake in 1906. The Dinneans invited everyone into their historic, lovely home to see the view of San Francisco from their back balcony.

After this enjoyable respite, the walkers continued on their way up Scenic for more beautiful views of the Bay, as well as being able to look across Moraga Canyon to see the substantial work that is being done at the top of Mountain View Cemetery.

After completing the Scenic Ave, loop, the group walked down a long set of stairs back to Pacific Avenue and then back to their starting point at the Exedra.


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