...and this is where I thought "perhaps I've made a terrible mistake."
There's a point on the Bay Trail where the paved trail curves right, but there's a narrow gravel trail heading off to the left. It seemed like just a little spur, and even has a "trail ends ahead" sign, so as many times as I've gone through this curve and thought about checking out the gravel trail, I never actually did. Until this morning. :)
I started heading down the gravel trail and though it does end at a fence it also curves around onto a dirt path that parallels the paved trail, only it's at a slightly lower elevation. Figuring it would eventually re-connect to the paved Bay Trail, I started down it.
It had rained a little overnight so it was quite muddy. Though I started sliding around and getting mud caked on my tires, the site of other bike tire tracks in the mud gave me some confidence that it was passable. I was tempted to turn around but thought "how much further could it be" and then after a while "well it's certainly too late to turn around now."
Soon the path narrowed a bit and I was actually thankful because the weeds growing on the side of the trail reduced the muddiness.
And then the trail narrowed some more. And the weeds started getting bigger and closer.
The overnight rain caused the weeds to glisten beautifully in the just risen sun... which basically meant they were soaking wet, and soon my legs and shoes were soaking wet as well.
Shortly after this picture was taken, the trail widened out again, became muddy again, and after I maneuvered around a massive mud puddle I was back on the paved path heading into work.
I normally bring my bike into the building with me, but this morning the bike was so muddy I locked it up outside. I felt a little bad for it sitting out there all by itself, and stopped by in the middle of the day to make sure it was doing okay. Fortunately, it seemed to come out of the experience unscathed. :)