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Second-Best Hike 

Albany Bulb

Down at the end of Buchanan Street in Albany is the Albany Bulb, a long-disputed bit of land that has served as both a dump and a campground. Currently, a bit of legislation allows that no one can either dump or camp there, but hikers are welcome to tramp around the grounds. It is certainly not your regular nature hike, although there are many varieties of waterfowl hanging around the wetlands and much indigenous plant growth. Instead, while sniffing the pleasant anise-scented blooms, you might notice that you're walking on a large chunk of asphalt complete with the double yellow line running down the center, dumped decades ago. Huge art installations appear as you turn corners, created out of wrecked boats, foam, and twisted metal. It is not uncommon to emerge from the bushes and suddenly see a mirror swinging from a tree, or find a single-room abode made of concrete with a lovely view of the bay. It is the sort of hiking that keeps you on the lookout for more than just poison oak, that's for sure.


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