North Vasco Road Off I-580 in Livermore and Brentwood
It's raining. Saturday afternoon is forging itself into yet another forgettable day. Instead of puttering around in your socks doing chores, like you always do, get in the car with the significant other and come see the "countryside" of the East Bay you've heard so much about. The simplest route is to head out on I-580 east (from Oakland) and take the North Vasco Road exit north. It looks like just another freeway exit at first, but two miles in, the asphalt cuts through luscious rolling hills as far as the eye can see. You'll get that whoa! I-never-knew-this-was-here feeling, comparable to the first time you visited Rockridge after five years living in San Francisco. The drive cuts and weaves along -- permission granted to feel as if you're driving in an Audi commercial -- so take a peek at Los Vaqueros Reservoir to the west. Just past the res', you can follow the signs further west to Mt. Diablo State Park or east toward Discovery Bay. Heading back, you're on your own, pal. All roads lead to the interstate, eventually.