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The John Shinnick 84 Street, 10 Path Pledge

August 20, 2018

I had a rough start. I woke up late and didn’t get to my starting point, the same as my previous walk, the Kensington Library parking lot, until 1:15. There I realized that I didn’t have my camera, and also that it was warming up more than I’d figured it would. Fortunately, there’s no point in Kensington more than about a ten-minute drive from my house, and this was more like five.


I went home, quickly found my camera, changed into a short-sleeve shirt, and headed back. I decided that I’d take advantage of my previous walk’s errant start and went to park at the corner of Arlington Ave. and Arlmont Rd. Forgetting that Arlmont is the street on the far side of the library parking lot, I overshot and didn’t realize it until I reached Estates Rd. where I decided to park. In retrospect this wouldn’t have been a bad idea, but I finally moved to the north end of the library lot, just a few feet from Arlmont. I exited the car, got to Arlmont and turned left to be sure I covered that end of the street. A mere twenty feet or so later I turned around and headed uphill.


Despite my late start, this looked like a relatively short walk overall, so despite an early evening band practice I wasn’t worried. As with the previous walks I say several others out and about, but this time they weren’t walking dogs. They were accompanying (or carrying) kids since I was close to the elementary school. I told one how impressed I was that she was carrying her little one given how uphill it was. She said her daughter refused to walk it. I said that given the option, so would I. I made a left on Marguerita Rd., a short cul-de-sac, walking to its end and returning to Arlmont. 


I continued uphill to Highland Blvd. Highland is one of two streets (Kenyon being the other) that is in two sections. I’d done the southern part two days before. I turned right where it dead-ended at the school, and I turned around, turning right to finish the tiny dead-end portion of Arlmont before continuing north on Highland.  I wasn’t going to finish Highland just yet though, and made a right on Cowper Ave., heading uphill to Lawson Rd., which crosses. I went right to its southern dead end, and then doubled back to do the north end. At this end the road turned into the driveway to the Kensington Unitarian Church. This reminded me that I actually had walked this area before as I remembered this entrance. 


I turned back to Cowper and again headed uphill to where Kensington Ct. (to the right) and Kensington Rd. (to the left) crossed it. First, there was a short dead end of Cowper to finish, so I crossed the intersection to the east end of Cowper. Turning back, I quickly made a left turn onto Kensington Ct., a short but (like so many short streets in Kensington) very uphill street. Coming back down I crossed onto Kensington Rd. I would have guessed the road carrying the name of the town would be closer to the middle of the town instead of being the most northeasterly road. In addition, the map was showing much more of it north of the town’s border than within its limits! Then I found no sign marking the border with El Cerrito. Fortunately, a letter carrier came by who knew exactly where the border was, since it was also the end of her route! It saved me several steps. Thanks USPS!

I know it says Berkeley, but this is the sign for the Kensington Unitarian Universalist Church. I went there a couple of times but I decided against them. I eventually joined their Oakland counterpart. It did serve to mark the end of Lawson Rd.

I returned to Cowper and headed downhill to its end at Arlington, then had to head back uphill where I turned left on Kenilworth Dr. I’d done Kenilworth Ct. on my third walk. It’s in the southwest part of Kensington. I suspect they’re both named after the same person, but I really don’t know. All the other streets with the same name but different suffixes are grouped together, but hey, this is Kensington. I followed this Kenilworth around a bend where it too met Arlington. If you guessed that I was having topological difficulties on this walk, you’re right. On many of my choices it came down to an arbitrary decision, figuring that it would take less time to simply pick one and go. Having reached Arlington I doubled back to Cowper.


I trudged back uphill to Highland and turned left. This last stretch of Highland was surprisingly flat, even a bit downhill. I savored this short walk and soon found myself at Arlington, only a few yards from the well-marked El Cerrito border. I crossed Arlington and headed back south on the Baja side, where I quickly made a right on Lam Ct. It was to be my only venture this side of Arlington this day, but it would not be easily accessible on my last two walks. As the “Ct.” implies, it was a short dead-end, and like most in Kensington, very vertical. Still, I soon found my way back to Arlington, turning right.


I now found myself at Estates Dr. where I’d parked earlier. I suppose I could have done it then, but if I was going to drive to starting points, I didn’t want to drive in the middle of them. My first glimpse of Estates made me think it might beat out Loran Ct. as the shortest, but not quite. In neither case is it possible to tell where the road ends and a driveway begins. Anyway, I now went up and down this short street before heading back south on Arlington. About an hour and a half after my start (the second one!) I reached Arlmont.


At this point I was torn. I saw a small piece of Baja that I could take in and shorten one of my remaining two walks, and I actually started a few feet further down Arlington. But at the same time I had my band rehearsal for which I wanted to get some practice in to prepare. I also considered that I was really in no hurry to finish my project. I’ll finish a little quicker than I’d originally thought anyway. So I simply went to my car and returned home, where I learned band practice had been postponed!


            Marguerita Rd.

            Arlmont Rd.

            Lawson Rd.

            Kensington Ct.

            Kensington Rd.

            Cowper Ave.

            Kenilworth Dr.

            Highland Blvd.

            Lam Ct.

            Estates Dr.

            Arlington Ave.

The YIMBY Project

This guy to the right appeared on Kensington Ct., but didn't have much to say. There were some nice views into Wildcat Canyon here, but it was a bit foggy. 


This is the only sign to show where El Cerrito stops and Kensington begins on Kensington Rd. How can you tell which police department?

This is all of Estates Dr. plus some driveway at the top. Still, it looks like it's a little longer than Loran Ct. at least by a few feet.

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