Walk In It 

Glad to Be Green


The open spaces around the Bay Area belong to you. They're open because orgs like the Greenbelt Alliance wouldn't let the wild places become Wal-Mart parking lots. So get out and use them this weekend, pilgrim. F'rinstance, there's Saturday's "Marvelous Marshland" hike (1:30-6 p.m.) around Tolay Creek in the Napa-Sonoma Marshes north of San Pablo Bay, with an optional visit to a winery afterwards. Or the hike though "Majestic Montara" on the surf-happy San Mateo coast below Pacifica, Sunday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Go to Greenbelt.org and let your legs do the walking. -- Kelly Vance

SAT 10/15

Cold in Them Thar Hills

Strip, dip, pedal, and hoof it in the Gold Country

he warm, sunny days and cool-ish late afternoons of autumn in the Gold Country are perfectly suited for outdoor activities, even something so potentially grueling as the Twain Harte Triathlon. Held in and around Twain Harte Lake on the outskirts of the picturesque Gold Rush-era town in the Sierra foothills (named, of course, in honor of "local" authors Mark Twain and Bret Harte), the fourth annual event invites triathletes of all skill levels to compete, individually or as part of a team, in the "fast and scenic" sprint course: a 400-yard swim in the chilly lake (less than 64 degrees F; bring a wetsuit unless you're a bear), an eight-mile bike race on a rolling, tight course; and a three-mile run. Entry fees are $40 advance (go to OnYourMarkEvents.com for full details), $45 race day: $110 and $130 for teams. The fun begins at 8:30 a.m. Saturday at the lake, Lake View Rd. at Golf Club Rd., Twain Harte. -- Kelly Vance

SUN 10/16

Bulb Not Yet Burnt Out

No telling what you'll find on Sunday's two-mile minihike through the Albany Landfill. The legendary Bulb has been the site of a full range of human activity -- clandestine public art, a squatters' community, a public nuisance dumping ground, and Hokusai-like views of the bay and Mt. Tam. You might even find a despondent horseplayer or two from nearby Golden Gate Fields wandering the shoreline. But the glories the Berkeley Hiking Club obviously wants to introduce you to are of the natural variety -- with a little help from boho urbanites. Hike leader Hans Sluis and his merry band depart the usual corner of Shattuck Avenue and Berkeley Way on Sunday morning at 8:30 sharp, then reconvene at Albany's Buchanan State Park. Call 510-649-9787 if you need a ride or can drive. -- Kelly Vance

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