I went on a “Welcome Walk” with the Loma Prieta chapter of Sierra Club. The Welcome Walks are monthly and they meet at Michael’s at Shoreline. The trail is flat and the group moves along at a leisurely pace, so it should be easy for almost anyone to keep up with the group. They have a leader in the front of the group, as well as in the back, so no one gets left behind. Everyone stops at various point along the way, so we all re-grouped several times.
Before the group left from the front of Michael’s Restaurant, to start the walk, we all introduced ourselves and the leader, Ney, encouraged us to move around as we wandered along the trail so that we would get the chance to meet everyone. That was a good plan, so you don’t end up walking alongside the same person the entire time. And it worked! People slowed down, or moved faster, in order to walk beside someone new. I loved that part!
There were 20 of us on the walk. One thing that surprised me was that we didn’t talk at all about “Sierra Club” things. I know that sounds funny, but I completely expected to hear about climate change, fracking, how global warming effects the Bay Area tides, or plastic floating in the ocean, but there was no talk about any environmental issues at all. It was 100% about meeting the nice people that were on the walk, and socializing with everyone.
Everyone was really friendly and talked about how long they’ve been involved in Sierra Club activities. They weren’t all members, probably only half were and the other half just showed up, either from the Sierra Club calendar, or they had learned about it from Meetup. It was a great group of interesting Silicon Valley professionals, some had just moved here and simply wanted to find people to socialize with, others were super-friendly regulars, and one quiet guy said he just wanted some exercise.
What a great way to meet people if you just moved to Silicon Valley! Definitely join Sierra Club. I can imagine that you would not only meet tons of new people, but you will learn about the area, hear about lots of local issues that effect the Bay Area and get in better shape, depending on how many activities you attend.
After the walk, almost everyone had lunch at Michael’s Restaurant. I couldn’t stay, but I definitely will plan on it next time. Hope to see you on a Welcome Walk in the near future and thank you to Sierra Club Loma Prieta Chapter for making me feel so welcome at my first outing with your group. I love Mountain View.