PLEASANTON (KPIX) — Alameda County‘s first full day in the Orange Tier takes place amidst an early spring heat wave, that brought record breaking temperatures across the Bay Area, further lightening the mood after a year of lockdowns, zoom classes, and a winter spent sheltering in place.
“It just dragged on and on. You really couldn’t go anywhere, you couldn’t really do anything. So now it’s just all about getting out and enjoying the weather,” said hiker Mitch Taylor.READ MORE: Bouncing Back? New Unemployment Claims In California Down Drastically
With temperatures about eight degrees higher than normal this time of year, much of the county reached highs in the low 80s. At Mission Peak, the main parking lot was full by mid-morning, with visitors parking on side streets, and hiking to the trailhead. Yellow mustard flowers and lush green grass covered the rolling hillside, framed by bright blue skies.
Taylor, who hikes to the top of the peak twice a week, urged caution as summer approaches.
“Warm weather is incentive to get lazy. So you have to be careful not to get lazy,” said Taylor.
The Orange Tier allows bars to finally reopen for outdoor service. Wineries can operate at 25 percent capacity.
At Wente Vineyards in Livermore, COVID protocols do not allow children under 21, pets are prohibited, and tastings are limited to 90 minutes. New for this year, Wente is offering premium “library tastings.”READ MORE: San Jose Launches 'SJ Aspires' College Tuition Assistance Program For 700 Students
Last weekend’s momentum from the warm weather will continue into the upcoming busy Easter weekend for Wente, as all outdoor and indoor reservations are full.
“We can already tell by the weather last week. And the weather was nice, so yes, people want to get out,” said Ann Ogden, Events Director. “They’re over it. We’re over it.”
At Crown Memorial State Beach in Alameda, a high of 81F degrees drew a sizable, but socially distanced crowd for a Wednesday afternoon.
Leonis Word brought his family to the shoreline to take advantage of the mid-week warm weather.
“My daughter has zoom class every day, and it’s Spring Break. So we were getting away from the laptop,” said Word. “Just the fact that folks are out is fun, to see folks out and about. It feels like everyone is a little more encouraged, I guess. Days like this help.”MORE NEWS: COVID Reopening: 2021 Alameda County Fair To Proceed In October
Thursday brings another day of unseasonably warm weather. Another cooling trend begins Friday.