Walks and hikes in Europe and California, posted sporadically as they happen… or as I reflect on them…

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

To Half Moon Bay— day 1

San Francisco, California, October 23, 2012

The day looked like this about ten thirty as we began today's walk, the first leg of a projected forty-miler from Sausalito to Half Moon Bay. We parked at a friend's house — thanks, John — and he dropped us off at the north end of the Golden Gate Bridge. I've never much walking across that bridge: the traffic's pretty noisy, and the bicycles can be unnerving. But it was a fine morning, and we were rewarded with a fireboat, all nozzles streaming away, on evercises off Fort Point.

The three of us met up with another two at the toll plaza and reception center at the south end of the span, and soon hit the Coastal Trail, a marvelous walk on hard dirt, occasioonally on steps and staircases, diagonally descending, climbing, redescending the bluffs in the Presidio over the hidden beaches. It had rained yesterday and the colors, textures, and aromas were fresh and present. We met very few people on the trail, and for the most part had the glorious views to ourselves.

The trail took us on city streets in Seacliff, then back among cypresses on the old rail and streetcar right-of-way toward the Cliff House. From there we walked the packed wet sand along the great beach, stopping for a beer at the wonderful Beach Chalet, ultimately arriving at the night's lodging, a cheap motel on Sloat Boulevard across the street from the zoo. Dinner at a local Chinese restaurant, and now time to turn in.

Sausalito to Sloat Boulevard, ca. 10 miles, ca. 6-1/2 hours
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