SAN FRANCISCO URBAN HIKE AGAIN March 30, 2008
Wishing to do some minor travel this fine Sunday, I headed south on Interstate 5 and over to the Delta via Twin Cities Road. Traffic was light, too bad compared to Interstate 80, say. I motored then to the Pittsburg/Bay Point BART station. Plenty of parking. Paying for my ticket, I added fare as I decided what to do.
Debarking at the Balboa Park BART station at 12:30 p.m., I walked on city streets to the summit of Mt. Davidson (925'), the highest point of San Francisco City and County. I snapped the vistas in most directions, and noted the blooming wildflowers. Plenty of poppies, with a few other flowers. There was some storm damage, here too, with fallen trees and saw work to clear them.
Headed then for my next peak, Twin Peaks (910'), I took more sidewalks, road shoulders, and short cut trails to the top of this second fabulous view. You can see straight down Market Street to the Embarcadero building (photo right). The grasses were so green, and the sky so blue.
Declining the standard tourist overlook,
I walked north and came to the 49
mile scenic drive. Taking this fine route, on foot, of course,
I hiked to a small park with a hill and more views, then came
to Market Street.
Strolling through the Civic Center, I had enjoyed seeing City Hall, in its gold trim. Then, I was to continue north on Van Ness Boulevard to Fisherman's Wharf. Lots of people. The Maritime Museum was closed, and it was hard to snap a typical scene. I passed along to Pier 39, and then chose to head up Coit Tower. The hills are steep, and only from the top of the tower will you get any good vista. Descending, I gained a nice view down Grant Avenue, and walked down to North Beach.
Sauntering along, I then came to Chinatown. This made for some good photography, with the busy scenes and color. I had thought to get some fine cuisine, but instead headed along to the Financial District. No idea for some great meal, but I slowed and tried to take it all in. Tourism looked to be a big draw, yet, and I then figured to skip shooting magic hour.
The sunset didn't look to be any good, so I took BART back to my car. I shot long movie clips, testing my new memory card, as I rode along. Some fears were once voiced by my former hiking companions, as anything might happen, by them. I felt a very slight bit of relief as we came out of the tunnels, and I enjoyed the night scenes as we rolled on.
Back to my car by 7:55 p.m., in the night, I motored back onto Highway 4, and then took CA 160 to zoom over the Antioch Bridge, the toll now being $4. Motoring north on winding CA 160, the River Road, I had to take a detour through Hood, CA, to get back to Interstate 5.
I had walked maybe 9 miles, with perhaps 1,500 feet of gain. I shot over 465 images and movie clips. The fare came to $11 round trip, and I only had some cookies and drink ($2) at a fast food eatery. Driving 137 miles round trip, that might come to about 3.5 gallons, bought at 3.539 that morning.
Wearing three layers, and EW bottoms under my pants, I carried a light day pack. The wind nearly blew off my new floppy hat, luckily with a drawstring, many times.
Certainly at a loss why almost nobody wishes to join me and hike, I'll maintain my leg muscles by continuing to take such walks. I usually save this particular urban hike for spells of rainy weather, when trails get muddy. It was nice to have longer days, and get up later, in the morning, to do this sojourn. There were many new things to see, for the city lover that I am.
San Francisco was the only big California city to observe the previous night's Earth Hour. I had hiked at night, then, in my home town, and saw no effort to make people more aware of the climate change crisis. The lights were to be turned off, from 8 p.m. to 9 p.m., to conserve electricity. All those enviro groups in town, and nothing. Earth Day looks like a bust, too. So it goes.
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