It’s the Los Gatos Creek Trail.
From Leigh, It’s about a mile and a half to Campbell Park, under Bascom, under Hamilton, just past Classic Car Wash. You go under Campbell Avenue on pressure treated boards, under the renovated bridge over the creek. They widened the bridge a little this year. Now there’s room for bike lanes. It was part of all the widening and repaving and lighting and everything that happened in downtown Campbell this year.
At Campbell Park, either cross over to the park proper, or just keep going up the east side of the creek. Either way, in a mile and change, you get to Camden. At Camden, you can cross the creek again, and if you’re heading south you have to. The east side trail dies out at an entrance from Camden Avenue right where it turns into San Tomas Expressway.
San Tomas Expressway and San Tomas Aquino Road are probably both named after whatever San Tomas Aquino Creek is named after, which itself is probably named after Saint Thomas Aquinas.
Arroyo de San Tomas Aquinas. The creek was the border of Rancho Quito on the west and Rancho Rinconada de Los Gatos on the East, in the mid-nineteenth century.
Wikipedia is pretty cool.
Going south, you look at the marks on the walls where the bridge used to be, lower and narrower, with sharp switchbacks that were tough on bicyclists. Then you cross the new bridge higher, go through a gate, and descend under Camden Avenue. Down, flat, up the other side.
A couple of constituencies being served on the other side of Camden Avenue. A pretty nice dog park there, and some small concrete ponds that are literally for fly-fishing practice casting. After that, the trail climbs where it used to stay low and wet, past where the parking lot used to be for the little recreation area at the percolation ponds. For the next mile you have the creek on the left, and the ponds on the right. People fishing. A few years ago there were turtles almost like a problem, but not anymore.
Three-and-a-half miles from Leigh you leave the ponds, climb a little, and continue up the west side of the creek. Creek on the left, light-industrial Los Gatos on the right. Just before another little climb you pass behind some condominiums behind the corporate headquarters for Netflix.
Last week one of the more mindless tech blogs reported that one seemingly telling fact about Netflix’s latest moves, splitting the DVD operation and the streaming operation, was that the DVD operation was in San Jose, while the rest of the company was in “Los Gatos, CA” [sic].
Google maps, like Wikipedia, is pretty cool. The writer might have done well to take advantage. Every time I run from San Jose to “Los Gatos, CA” I wonder if I’ve gone far enough, and usually I haven’t.
Then again, It’s just San Jose, and just Los Gatos. Was running north recently, just south of Netflix, and complaining to a friend about how everyone moved away after college, and they keep moving away. I tried to make the point that it wasn’t as if San Jose Inclusive was some kind of coal mining town. She maintained that’s exactly what it is.
After a short, chilly summer of no posting here, my lungs are clear but my head isn’t, and maybe she’s right. Still don’t feel like moving, but maybe I feel like a sucker.
South past Highway 85 later, and less gloom, promise.