Even though it’s called Leap Day, February 29 feels like a good day to stop and look around. Here’s a fine panorama from 10 February 2015, the first day I explored the Ridgemont neighborhood high above the old Leona Quarry (1200 px). The view is almost due south.
Most of the California landscape is oriented like this, northwest-to-southeast, thanks to its plate-tectonic position between the North America and Pacific plates.
What are we looking at? Here’s an annotated version, with the following landmarks noted.
1: Mission Peak, overlooking Fremont and San Jose.
2: Knowland Park hill with its green meadows.
3: Fairmont Ridge, overlooking San Leandro.
4: Loma Prieta.
5: Mount Umunhum and the spine of the Sierra Azul.
6: Coyote Hills on this side of the bay, Stevens Creek canyon on the other, where route 17 leads to Santa Cruz.
7: King Estates Open Space, looking its emerald best.
8: Black Mountain overlooking Mountain View (and hey what a coincidence).
All of these are great places to visit.
The red Vs mark the Hayward fault, left to right: at the foot of Mission Peak, in the saddle of Fairmont Ridge, in the Oakland Zoo and running down the valley of Arroyo Viejo past Holy Redeemer College.