Do you know the (long) way to San Jose? If you don't yet, it's worth discovering. The next time you find yourself in the Bay Area with a few lazy hours to spare, consider taking a drive along one of the best-kept local secrets: the scenic Mines Road, which will take you from Livermore in the East Bay to Mount Hamilton in San Jose.
Your 74-mile, two-lane odyssey begins in the heart of Livermore's wine country, right off of Tesla Road, but acres of vineyards and clusters of farm homes will soon give way to lush foothills and wandering streams. Along the way, you'll find a few farms, ranches and the occasional cattle guard. Take advantage of the beautiful vistas. There are many opportunities to pull over and take pictures, so be sure to do so!
- Check that you have a full tank of gas. There is nowhere to fill up.
- Be prepared for no cell phone service.
- Bring a snack. With the exception of The Junction, there's nowhere to get food.
- Beware of hairpin turns, bicyclists and oncoming traffic around blind corners.
Here are a few pictures of the Mines Road adventure I went on earlier today with my friend, Steven. As you can see in the pictures below, it was a bit rainy and foggy to begin with, which made everything hauntingly beautiful. By the time we reached Mount Hamilton though, we were rewarded with a burst of sunshine. The perfect ending to a wonderful day.
|A bend in the road.|
|Verdant hills behind thickets of trees.|
|A benign motorcycle gang.|
|A California sunset... and Steven's arm.|
|View from Mount Hamilton.|