Saturday, March 8, 2014

North Cascades National Park – Walks in the Park

 

The North Cascades are calld the 'North American Alps.' They include jagged peaks, glaciers, lake, and meadows.

Baker River 1M
5.2 miles. 190' elevation gain

Stetattle Creek 1L
1.6 miles. minimal elevation gain.

Thunder Creek 1M
2.9 miles. 80' elevation gain.

Ross Dam 1M
2.4 miles. 539' elevation gain.

Rainy Lake 1L
1.8 miles. minimal elevation gain.

Cutthroat Lake 1M
2.8 miles. 410' elevation gain.

Chelan Lakeshore 1M
up to 10 miles. 500' elevation gain.

Stehekin Nature Trail 1L
up to 7 miles. minimal elevation gain.

Agnes Gorge 1M
5.0 miles. 430' elevation gain.

Mount Rainier – Walks in the Park

Mount Rainier is 14,420' high, the 5th tallest peak in the 48 continental states, and the highest in the Cascade Range volcanoes. It includes dense forests at the base, lakes, streams, and subalpine meadows.

Twin Firs Loop 1L
.4 miles. minimal elevation change.

Trail of the Shadows 1L
.7 miles. minimal elevation change.

Alta Vista Summit 1L
1.6 miles. minimal elevation change.

Nisqually Vista 1L
1.2 miles. minimal elevation change.

High Lakes Trail 1L
2.7 miles. minimal elevation change.

Stevens Creek 1L
1.4 miles. minimal elevation change.

Box Canyon 1L
.3 miles. minimal elevation change.

Silver Falls 1L
2,7 miles. minimal elevation change.

Grove of the Patriarchs 1L
1.1 miles. minimal elevation change.

Naches Peak 1L
5.0 miles. minimal elevation change.

Silver Forest 1L
2.0 miles. minimal elevation change.

Sourdough Ridge Nature Trail 1L
1.3 miles. minimal elevation change.

Spray Falls 1L
4.0 miles. minimal elevation change.

Old Mine Trail 1L
3.0 miles. minimal elevation change.

Carbon River Rainforest Trail 1L
.3 miles. minimal elevation change.

Rocky Mountain National Park - Walks in the Park

The park includes numerous summits, the highest of which is 14,255'. It includes tundra, subalpine meadows, forest, and lakes.

Bear Lake Road

Sprague Lake 1L
.7 miles. minimal elevation change.

Alberta Falls 1M
1.2 miles 170' elevation change.

Bear Lake Nature Trail 1L
.5 miles. 0' elevation change.

Trail Ridge Road

Timberline Pass 1M
4 miles. 44' elevation change.

Toll Memorial 1M
.8 miles. 200' elevation change.

West Side

Lulu City 1M
7.4 miles. 250' elevation change.

Coyote Valley
1.6 miles

Adams Falls 1M
.6 miles. 77'

Friday, November 1, 2013

GGRA: California Coast: Marin County - Section 10 (6 1/8 miles)

The California Coastal Trail starts on the Oregon-California beach and ends at the California-Mexico border. It's about 1200 miles in length and is a network of interconnected trails, alternative paths (e.g., the sandy beach or cliffs overlooking the beach), and suggested side trips. It can be hiked as a thru-hike or, as is most common, in segments. We chose to hike it in sections, slow and easy, stopping to see all of the sites enroute.

Overview of Marin Coastal Trail:

  1. Valley Ford to Lawson's Landing, Dillon Beach (8 miles)
  2. Lawson's Landing to Heart's Desire Beach, Tomales State Park (9 3/4 miles)
  3. Heart's Desire Beach, Tomales State Park to Pt Reyes (91/2 miles)*
  4. Point Reyes Hostel to Glen Camp, Pt Reyes (9 + 7/8 miles)*
  5. Glen Camp to Palomarin Trailhead, Pt Reyes (8 1/2 + 7/8 miles)
  6. Palomarin to Bolinas (5 miles)*
  7. Bolinas to Pantoll, Mt Tamalpais State Park (about 6 miles)*
  8. Pantoll to Muir Beach (5 miles)
  9. Muir Beach to Rodeo Beach* (5 7/8 miles)
  10. Rodeo Beach* to Golden Gate Bridge* North Vista (6 1/8 miles)

Section 10: Rodeo Beach to Golden Gate Bridge North Vista



Restrooms are located at Fort Cronkhite, the Visitor's Center, and a couple of places along the trail. Carry water and food!

Marin Headlands (415) 331-2777
Campgrounds (415) 331-1540

Suggested side trip: Point Bonita. The round trip is about 3 miles round trip from Visitor Center.

Public Transportation:
On Sundays and holidays only, San Francisco Muni 76 travels from San Francisco to Rodeo Beach.

From BART Embarcadero Station, walk to Market and Fremont (on the north side if the intersection, it is Front Street.) The bus stop is on a divider on Fremont Street.

Verify the Muni 76 schedule.

Route


  • Fort Cronkhite Parking lot at Rodeo Beach to Visitor Center*: Walk across the bridge or sand to the south side of the lagoon. Take the lower path (on the left) on the hill. (.8 miles)
  • Visitor Center* to Bunker Road: either (a) follow the trail up several short steep climbs with good views or (b) follow Bodsworth Road for 3/4 mile past the hostel and old military buildings to Bunker Road.
  • Bunker Road* to Upper Conzelman Road (.8 miles)
  • Upper Conzelman Road, past Hawk Hill to the intersection of McCullough Road and Conzelman Road. (This replaces the old coastal trail that went past the rifle range)
  • Intersection of McCullough Road and Conzelman Road, past Slacker Hill, to Golden Gate Bridge North Vista Point * (The old coastal trail went north of Conzelman Road.)
* There may be a Muni 76 bus stop at this point.

Fort Cronkhite Parking lot at Rodeo Beach to Visitor Center (.8 miles)


On Sundays and holidays, San Francisco Muni 76 stops at the Fort Cronkhite parking lot (it's the last stop) and on Bunker Road below Visitor's Center. Verify the stops and times. When we were there, some of the stops and times posted on literature and the Internet was incorrect.

From the Fort Cronkhite parking lot, walk across the beach/bridge, then take the left (lower trail) on the hill. When the trail divides, take the left trail to the Visitor's Center.

Rodeo Beach

Thursday, October 31, 2013

GGRA - California Coastal Trail - San Francisco (10.75 miles)

The California Coastal Trail starts on the Oregon-California beach and ends at the California-Mexico border. It's about 1200 miles in length and is a network of interconnected trails, alternative paths (e.g., the sandy beach or cliffs overlooking the beach), and suggested side trips. It can be hiked as a thru-hike or, as is most common, in segments. We chose to hike it in sections, slow and easy, stopping to see all of the sites enroute.

Overview of the San Francisco Coastal Trail

Section 1 (5.5 miles)

  • Golden Gate North Vista Point to Golden Gate Bridge Toll Plaza (1.5 miles)
  • Presidio including Fort Point, Batteries, and Baker Beach
  • Seacliff
  • China Beach
  • Land's End including Sutro Baths and Cliff House
Section 2 (5.25 miles)
  • Ocean Beach along the Richmond District
  • Ocean Beach along Golden Gate Park
  • Ocean Beach along the Sunset District
  • Ocean Beach along the Parkside District
  • San Francisco Zoo
  • Fort Funston
  • Philip Burton Beach

The San Francisco County portion of the coastal trail is 10.75 miles. Suggested side trips:(a) Bay Bridge to Fort Point and (b) Golden Gate Park.

For information, call the Golden Gate Recreation Area at (415) 331-1540 or the Presidio (415) 561-4323. Obtain the Golden Gate National Recreation Map which includes the coastal trail in San Francisco. Using public transportation is one way to meet some is the colorful people in San Francisco. One woman had a long purple wig, little back derby hat, old fashioned motorcycle goggles around her forehead, halter top, corset, mini skirt, and boots. A guy had a black hat with cake decorating cones on one side, numerous silver rings, tattooed from neck to fingers, a plastic 3D heart and values pined to his vest, and shoes with four or five inch foam lists.

To plan a trip on public transportation

San Francisco Hostel at Fort Mason

California Coastal Trail Website

Section 1: North Vista Point of Golden Gate Bridge to Cliff House - 5 1/2 miles

Golden Gate Bridge


The San Francisco coastal trail begins at the Golden Gate North Vista Point in Marin County.
Walk across the Golden Gate Bridge (1.5 miles long) Four long distance trails (American Discovery, the Bay Ridge, San Francisco Bay, and the California Coastal Coastal Trail ) converge on the bridge. On a clear day, you can see for 80 miles.

Public Transportation to to the San Francisco End of the Bridge
From BART Embarcadero Station: walk west to Market and Fremont (on the north side if the intersection, it is Front Street.) The bus stop is on a divider on Fremont Street.
Take " Muni 76 towards Fort on Sundays holidays; check the schedule. On other days, take 38L to Geary and Park Presido. Then go across the street to the NE corner and take bus 28 to the toll plaza. Disembark at the toll plaza.
From the Marin end of the bridge, call Muni on Sundays and holidays. On other days call Golden Gate Transit at (415) 455-2000.

Public Transportation From the San San Francisco (south) End Toll Plaza to BART Emarcadero
Return on 28 then 38L or "Muni 76 to 4th Street and Townsend" at the NW corner of the plaza. Disembark at Market and Fremont.
Walk to the Embarcadero BART Station


Things you may not know about the Golden Gate Bridge

  • The color International Orange was selected because it is more visible in the fog than some other colors, complements the natural topography of the surrounding hills, and contrasts with the cool blues of the bay and the sky.
  • It is the second most popular tourist attraction in the world (The Effel Tower is #1.)
  • Joseph Strauss' original design was rejected and he brought in other engineers who designed a more graceful bridge and the art deco design. He didn't have an engineering degree.
  • The strait is named the Golden Gate Strait because it reminded Fremont of the Golden Horn Strait in Constantinople. The bridge is named for the strait.

Presidio


Restrooms: Toll Plaza and Warming Hut
Food: Limited, but available at Toll Plaza Cafe (to go) and Warming Hut
Maps: Free Presidio and free Golden Gate National Recreation map available at Toll Plaza Information building.

Golden Gate Bridge Toll Plaza

Public Transportation To:
From BART Embarcadero Station, walk west to Market and Fremont (on the north side if the intersection, it is Front Street.) The bus stop is on a divider on Fremont Street.
Take " Muni 76 towards Fort on Sundays holidays; check the schedule. On other days, take 38L to Geary and Park Presido. Then go across the street to the NE corner and take bus 28 to the toll plaza. Disembark at the toll plaza.

Public Transportation From:
Return on 28 then 38L or "Muni 76 to 4th Street and Townsend" at the NW corner of the plaza. Disembark at Market and Fremont.
Walk to the Embarcadero BART Station


After getting off the bus/bridge, go to the Information building and obtain the free maps of the Presido and the Golden Gate National Recreation Map

Fort Point
To reach Fort Point take the Battery East stairs to the north east of the plaza. At the base of the stairs, the Warming Hut (restrooms and cafe/shop with a limited menu) is to the east (right) towards Crissy Fields and Fort Point is to the west (left).

The Presidio was a military site until 1994 when it was transferred to the National Park Service.

Golden Gate Underpass and Concrete Batteries

At the intersection between the Toll Plaza and Fort Point, turn west toward the ocean and follow the dirt path for the next 3/8 of a mile past the concrete batteries. The trail climbs up wood steps and past two parking lots, and at times parallel to Lincoln Boulevard. Climb and walk on the batteries for various views.

Building of the Batteries


During the Civil War, it was apparent that only large rifles and smoothbores of at least 15-inches were effective against armored vessels and that that masonry, like Fort Point, was less resistant to fire than than earthwork barbette batteries, which were also the most cost-effective to build. These discoveries prompted building batteries at the Presidio. Battery Chamberlin, built in 1904. has a "disappearing" gun.


Baker Beach is 1.1 miles from the Golden Gate Bridge.

Public Transportation To:
From BART Embarcadero Station, walk to the north corner of Market and Front Street.
Take "Muni 31 - towards Cabrillo St & La Playa St" (32 min ride)
Disembark at Balboa and 25th Avenue
At the SE corner of 25th Ave and Balboa, take "Muni - 29 - towards Bowley St & Lincoln Blvd" (6 min ride)
Off Board at the SE Corner of Lincoln Blvd & Bowley St
Walk to Baker Beach.

Public Transportation From:
Walk to the SW corner of Bowley St & Gibson Rd - (2 min walk)
Take "Muni - 29 - towards Fitzgerald Ave & Keith St" (3 min ride)
Disembark at NW corner of 25th Avenue and Geary.
At the SW corner of Gear and 25th, take "Muni - 38 - towards Beale St. & Howard St" (28 min ride)
Disembark at W Corner of Beale St & Mission St (28 min ride)
Walk to BART Embarcadero Station.


Baker Beach is entered through a small gate and follows a red gravel road, past Battery Chamberlain, to the beach. Each has restrooms.

Due to possible pollution and rip tides, it's not good for water play so people were just laying on the sand.

I had read that people were nude at a secluded spot on the north end of Baker Beach, but everyone was clothed when we were there.

Burning Man


In 1986, Larry Harvey and Jeff James created an 8' statue then, on June 21st, set it on fire at Baker Beach. People from across the beach came running to watch the figure burn. The men decided to repeat the burning each year. By 1990, the statue was 4 stories high and hundreds of people gathered for the burning. The statue was erected but it wasn't set on fire because that year the park allowed only 3' x 3' campfires. Unfortunately, the organizers didn't have a loud speaker to communicate with the crowd which was becoming increasingly unruly. Finally, the crowd was almed down and the statue removed. The organizers then decided to hold the event on Labor Day weekend in Nevada.


From Baker Beach, walk to 25th Avenue North. Where it dead ends, there is a gate. If the gate is unlocked, walk to Seacliff Avenue, turn right and follow it to El Camino del Mar.

Looking down on Baker's Beach toward Seacliff

Seacliff Avenue


If the gate is locked, backtrack about 1/8 of a mile and follow the sandy path through the cypress trees to Lincoln Blvd. Turn right on the sidewalk or follow the driveway to Lincoln Blvd. Walk west on Lincoln to 25th Avenue, which becomes El Camino Del Mar. El Camino del Mar is the main street through the Seacliff neighborhood.

Seacliff has some of the most elegant San Francisco mansions. At the end of Seacliff, turn right to a viewing deck. Continue along the trail, parallel to the Lincoln Park Golf Course. During the Seacliff portion of the trail, the coast was not visible.

Ansel Adams


Ansel Adams grew up in the Seacliff neighborhood at 129 24th Avenue, the corner of Clay and 24th, a couple of blocks away from Seacliff Avenue. The home sat on a bluff, was surrounded by sand dunes, and had a view of the Golden Gate and Marin Headlands. Ansel spent much of his childhood exploring Baker Beach and the seacliffs down to Land's end.

However, one of his earliest memories occurred when he was four-years-old. At 5:12 on April 18, 1906, San Francisco was woke by a 40-second tremor that moved the furniture and, 10 seconds later, was followed by a 25-second tremor. The earthquake was estimated to have been 8.3 on the Ricter scale, caused the ground to move in three feet high waves, and left twisted streetcar rails and split open streets. Because Ansel's family lived on the dune beyond the Golden Gate, their home survived, although the fireplaces were damaged. However,three hours later, during an aftershock, he tumbled into a brick garden wall and broke his nose, which was left crooked and not reset. Meanwhile, fire had broken out and by that evening, martial law was in effect. Three days later about 3,000 people had died and about 250,000 were homeless.


Public Transportation To:
  • Walk to Sacramento St & Davis St - (4 min walk)
  • At the NE corner, Take "Muni - 1 - towards 33rd Ave & Geary Blvd" (41 min ride)
  • Off Board, SW Corner of 32nd Ave & California St
  • Walk to El Camino del Mar, San Francisco - (8 min walk)

    Public Transportation From:
  • Walk to 32nd Ave & California St - (8 min walk)
  • At the SE corner, Take "Muni - 1 - towards Clay St & Drumm St (43 min ride)
  • Off Board, SW Corner of Clay St & Drumm St
  • Walk to BART Embarcadero (5 min walk)

    China Beach

    Due to a rip tide, it is dangerous to swim at China Beach. However, China Beach has restrooms, showers, a sunning deck, and a sandy beach.

    Chinese Fishing


    Chinese fishermen anchored their boats and camped on shore. Then in 1880' the state passed a law that "All aliens incapable of becoming electors of this state are hereby prohibited from fishing, or taking any fish, lobster, shrimps, or shell fish of any kind, for the purpose of selling, or giving to another person to sell..." The primary impact of the law was on the Chinese fishing community. Then during most of the 20th century, it was known as Phelan Beach (named for Mayor Phelan) until in about 1983 the National Park Service (which owns the site) reverted to "China Beach." By 1998 some San Franciscans knew it only as Phelan Beach while others knew it only as China Beach.


    Public Transportation To:
  • Walk to Sacramento St & Davis St - (4 min walk)
  • At the NE corner, Take "Muni - 1 - towards 33rd Ave & Geary Blvd" (41 min ride)
  • Off Board, SW Corner of 32nd Ave & California St
  • Walk to El Camino del Mar, San Francisco - (8 min walk)

    Public Transportation From:
  • Walk to 32nd Ave & California St - (8 min walk)
  • At the SE corner, Take "Muni - 1 - towards Clay St & Drumm St (43 min ride)
  • Off Board, SW Corner of Clay St & Drumm St
  • Walk to BART Embarcadero (5 min walk)

    China Beach

    Lands End including Sutro Baths, Seal Rocks, and Cliff House


    Lands End is famous for its ocean and Golden Gate Strait views. Cliff House area has restrooms and restaurant. It is at the north end of Ocean Beach.

    Distance from North Entrance to Land's End
    Golden Gate Bridge 2.7 miles
    Bakers Beach 1.2 miles
    Cliff House 1.7 miles
    Golden Gate Park (Lincoln Way) 2.8 miles
    Zoo (Sloat Blvd.) 4.8 miles
    Fort Funston 6.4 miles


    *********************************************

    Public Transportation To The North Entrance:
  • Walk to Sacramento St & Davis St - (4 min walk)
  • At the NE corner, Take "Muni - 1 - towards 33rd Ave & Geary Blvd" (41 min ride)
  • Off Board, SW Corner of 32nd Ave & California St
  • Walk to El Camino del Mar, San Francisco - (8 min walk)

    Public Transportation From The North Entrance:
  • Walk to 32nd Ave & California St - (8 min walk)
  • At the SE corner, Take "Muni - 1 - towards Clay St & Drumm St (43 min ride)
  • Off Board, SW Corner of Clay St & Drumm St
  • Walk to BART Embarcadero (5 min walk)

    *********************************************

    Public Transportation To Point Lobos:
    Walk to Market St & Front St - (4 min walk)
    Take "Muni - 38 - towards Point Lobos Ave & 48th Ave" (52 min ride)
    Off Board, SW Corner of 48th Ave & Point Lobos Ave
    Walk to Merrie Way, San Francisco - (5 min walk)

    Public Transportation From Point Lobos:
    Walk to 48th Ave & Point Lobos Ave - (5 min walk)
    At the SW corner, take "Muni - 38 - towards Beale St. & Howard St." (48 min ride)
    Off Board, W Corner of Beale St & Mission St
    Walk to Embarcadero, San Francisco - (5 min walk)

    Taken from Eagle's Point at Land's End

    Taken at Land's End before Turnoff to Palace of Legion of Honor

    Merrie Way


    When the California Midwinter International Exposition of 1894 closed, Sutro grabbed what he could get, especially fair concession booths and rides. He moved the attractions to a location bEtween his steam train station and Sutro Baths. Riders exiting the train were greeted by the Ferris Wheel today. (which was invented by George Ferris for the Columbian Exposition in Chicago. De Young got J.K. Firth & Co. to make a smaller one with enclosed carriages for the Midwinter Fair.) One hundred feet in diameter, the wheel had sixteen carriages, hundreds of rlectric lights, and offered dramatic views during the 20-minute ride. Alongside the wheel was a glider-bench that swayed passengers back and forth in the dark using a movable room that created the illusion of circling 360 degrees. Sutro later brought in a roller coaster, food stands, and entertainers. It was first called "Sutro's Midway Plaisance", then "Merry Way", which was changed to the Middle English spelling of "Merrie Way."

    Sutro died in 1898. The pleasure grounds didn't last much longer. As an investment the enterprise was unprofitable and the salty ocean winds and fog probably made maintenance of the old fair rides a headache. Emma Merritt, Sutro's daughter, had most of the attractions closed by 1899, although the wheel lasted until 1911.

    Vintage photos of the outside of Sutro baths and of the staircase leasing to Sutro ice skating rink.

    The Cliff House


    The first Cliff House was built in 1858. Since then it's been remodeled/rebuilt several times, with various owners. In 1896, Adolph Sutro built a seven story Cliff House below his estate.

    Sutro Baths


    At the base of the rocks near the Cliff House, he noticed a small inlet that was protected from the fury of the waves that sweep the beach by the several groups of seal-rocks. Being an engineer, he knew this to be an ideal place for a swimming pool, so construction on Sutro Baths began, also in 1896. On March 14, 1896, the Sutro Baths was opened to the public as the world's largest indoor swimming pool establishment. A glass structure encased the seven pools, which were filled with steam-heated sea water piped in from the Pacific. There were more than 500 private dressing rooms, viewing galleries, restaurants, and natural history exhibits. The pools were filled with steam-heated sea water piped in from the Pacific. Unheated seawater filled the largest of the tanks. The rest were heated to varying temperatures, from ice-cold to a steaming warm eighty degrees. Patrons could enter the pools in a number of ways: trampolines, flying rings, slides, swings, toboggan slides, and diving platforms surrounded the water.

    During high tides, water would flow directly into the pools from the nearby ocean, recycling the 2 million US gallons (7,600 m³) of water in about an hour. During low tides, a powerful turbine water pump, built inside a cave at sea level, could be switched on from a control room and could fill the tanks at a rate of 6,000 US gallons a minute (380 L/s), recycling all the water in five hours. Due to the high costs of operating the baths, they closed then in 1966, while the building was being demolished, it burnt to the ground.

    The Sutra Bath Ruins and the Cliff House

    Section 2: Cliff House to Fort Fulton Environmental Educational Center

    Ocean Beach: Cliff House to Golden Gate Park


    (Richmond District)
    The Sunset District is the neighborhood south of Golden Gate Park. Either Esplanade or the beach can up be used for this part of the trail.

    From the Cliff House, Ocean Beach extends south for more than 3 miles. At the bottom of the hill, you can take one of the following two routes:

    (a) The Esplanade has a sidewalk between the Great Highway and sea wall.
    (b) The beach

    From the Cliff House looking south at Ocean Beach. The windmills are at Golden Gate Park.

    Mooneysville-by-the-Sea


    Late in 1883, squatters built shanties, tents and lean-tos on Ocean Beach, below the Cliff House. In those days, of course, there were no sea wall and paved highway.
    They said that they did it for their health because to be healthy, they had to eat and to eat they had to have money. To make money, they planned to sell liquor to Sunday tourists at the beach.

    The Park Commission members suggested that the squatters leave. The squatters replied "We're on the beach to stathey and declared themselves residents of a new town named of Mooneysville-by-the-Sea.

    The supervisors instructed Police Chief Crowley to back up the commission in its campaign to clear the beach and on Tuesday, the squatters were notified to leave or the city would tear down the shanties.

    Police Sgt. Nash, in his official report to Chief Crowley, wrote the final chapter in the brief history of Mooneysville-by-the-Sea:

    "The Fall of Mooneysville: We arrived at the beach about 7:15 a.m. About an hour afterward, park Superintendent McKewen arrived with 20 men, armed with crowbars and axes. The shanty farthest south had a notice on it to the effect that the owners would be there at noon to take it down, so that was left standing. Went to the next one, and as there was no one there, down it went; the same with the next three or four. Then came one that the owners were taking down, and they were allowed to go on. So it went on, some being taken down by the gang and some by the owners. Then down came the palace of 'Mayor Con Mooney.'

    "Between the site of the late mayor's palace and the rocks stood Dennis Kearney, taking down his shanty, but very slowly. Superintendent McKewen sent some of his men to help him. Kearney withdrew to the road and turned to the gang who were doing work, exclaiming, 'Let the Romans pull it down.' After getting that down, the men worked north, helping those who were pulling down their places. Harry Maynard, the Kearny Street saloon keeper, arrived on the grounds at 5:15 p.m., and, on being asked what he thought of the work, he laughed and said, 'God help the poor.' "

    Mooneysville-by-the-Sea was gone forever.

    Playland


    Next, various rides and attractions that began to spring up along the beach, with different owners.

    In 1926, George Whitney became general manager of the growing complex of seaside attractions and changed the name to Playland-at-the-Beach, also sometimes known as Whitney's At the Beach. Although the attractions continued to be operated as independent concessionaires, during the late 1920s and '30, the concessions began to fail and George and Leo began to purchase them. In 1934, Playland took up three city blocks and had 14 rides, 25 concessions and 4 restaurants besides Topsy's Roost.

    George opened Topsy’s Roost (at Playland) in 1929. Driving south along the beach from the Cliff House, the first building you came to was Topsy’s Roost, a popular chicken dinner restaurant and nightclub with a live orchestra and seating on the main floor as well as the balcony. If patrons were sitting on the balcony level and wanted to dance, there were slides to took them down onto the dance floor. It could hold 1055 diners and the dance floor could hold 300. The building's use was Ocean Beach Pavilion and Casino 1884-1906, Topsy's Roost 1920's, Surf Club-1950's, Edgewater Ballroom-sometime in the early 60's, Slotcar Raceway about 1964, Family Dog June 1969 to about June 1970, Friends And Relationships Hall-March 12, 1971)

    In 1937, George Whitney, Sr. purchased the then-vacant Cliff House from the Sutro estate and reopened it has a restaurant then in 1952, he purchased Sutro baths. However, in the 1950's Playland began to decline and in 1972, the land was sold and converted to condominiums.

    One of the legacys of Playland is the It's It Ice Cream Sandwich. In 1928, George Whitney placed a scoop of vanilla ice cream between two large old-fashioned oatmeal cookies and then dipped the sandwich into dark chocolate. He sold the It's It exclusively in San Francisco's Playland-at-the-Beach for over four decades. When Playland was demolished in the 1970's, the It's It ceased to exist. Then, in 1974, It's It was reborn. This time It's It were hand made in a small shop in San Francisco and were sold mainly to mom and pop stores. Eventually, the demand grew beyond the Bay Area.

    Golden Gate Park


    From Ocean Beach, the windmill to the east is at the northwest corner of Golden Gate Park. To reach the park, cross the highway at the Fulton Street Crosswalk. The park is 1/2 mile wide and three miles long.

    The park includes the Beach Chalet Visitor Center, Conservatory of Flowers, Botanical Gardens, Japanese Tea Gardens, DeYoung Museum, and California Academy of Sciences.

    The Beach Chalet at the north west corner contains a Visitor's Center, restaurant, and restrooms.

    It took nearly 50 years to convert sand dunes into Golden Gate Park. At first, they tried to use lupine to hold the sandy soil in place. It didn't wrk. Then an accidental spill of barley solved the problem. The windmills that are still standing pumped the water.

    Ocean Beach: Golden Gate Park to Zoo

    Carville, Oceanside, and Sunset


    From the early 1900s until about 1930, the area west of 40th Avenue and between Lincoln Way and Sloat Boulevard was called Oceanside. Then in the 1930s-1950s, new development linked the Oceanside with the rest of the Sunset.

    Oceanside House

    The first building was the Ocean Side House, a roadhouse built in 1866 on the Great Highway between what is now Ulloa and Vicente Streets. It was surrounded by sand dunes and almost a mile from the nearest building. For 35 years, it was under a series of proprietors. In 1902, it was converted into the home of Alexander and Ida Russell. Ida Russell was known for her interest in Eastern religions and for 9 months in 1905, it became the site for lectures on Buddhism, which may have been the first ever given on a regular basis in the United States. In 1919, after Ida Russell's death, the main building became a popular restaurant and bar, which closed in 1931 then burned in 1940.

    Carville

    By 1895, in the area enclosed by Lincoln Way, Irving Street, 48th Avenue, and La Playa became known as Carville. For $20 (equivalent in purchasing power to more than $425 in 2007), a buyer could have a sturdy streetcar and attach additions to it to create extra usable space. These were used by Carville residents as clubhouses, an artists' hangouts, vacation cottages for rent, and as permanent residences. Within a few years, this nascent community spread to other blocks near the ocean. Streetcars were side-by-side, end to end, and on top of each other to form T-, L-, U-, and W-shaped houses and to make two and three story homes. Some exteriors were clad with siding or shingles to disguise the streetcar and to protect them from the wind and salt. The community became known as "Carville," and attracted somewhat Bohemian residents. The structures ranged from makeshift to substantial and reflected the unconventional preferences of their Bohemian inhabitants.

    The earthquake and fire of 1906 brought more streetcar houses to Carville. By 1908, the artistic neighborhood with prominent musicians had a population of 2,000, stores, restaurants, churches, and hotels.

    Oceanside

    Shortly after 1900, people attracted to the outer Sunset built conventional wood-frame houses amid the converted streetcars and called the neighborhood Oceanside. They regarded the streetcar residences as an embarrassment. In 1913, Adolph Sutro's daughter, Emma Sutro Merritt, gave permission to clear away the Carville houses on her land at Lincoln Way and Great Highway. By the end of the 1920s, only a few car structures remained

    Today the only surviving streetcar home is at 1632 Great Highway. It was built in 1908 for a photo-journalist. .

    Most of the Oceanside houses were by builders, carpenters, and contractors. They built houses one or two at a time. Tract development was virtually non-existent before the 1920s. Many of the Oceanside houses built from the 1900s to the 1910s were demolished in the 1950s through the 1990s, leaving only about 50 or 60 houses or 10% of what once stood here in 1915.

    Sunset

    At the beginning of the 1920s, large areas of Oceanside remained undeveloped. But from that decade through the 1950s, the empty spaces were filled in with stucco-clad houses, most of which were built in rows by speculative builders. The name "Oceanside" seems to have faded from use during the 1920s. If the blocks west of 40th Avenue had their own name after 1930, it was simply the "outer Sunset" or "out at the Beach."

    Surf Shop

    After settling in San Francisco in the 1940s, Jack O’Neill and the few others who tried to surf the frigid waters at Ocean Beach tried to stay warm included shoving flexible PVC into their swim trunks. When a friend suggested that neoprene rubber would work as an insulator against the cold, O’Neill turned it into a reality and the modern wetsuit was born. The first models were pieces of neoprene sewed together into vests. In 1952, Jack opened his first Surf Shop in the family garage at 3518 Wawona Street and sold neoprene vests, balsa surfboards, and accessories like paraffin wax. The family moved to Santa Cruz in 1959 and in 1960 the Surf Shop moved to 2686 Great Highway and more people began surfing in Northern California with the help of full-body neoprene wetsuits.

    San Francisco Zoo

    The zoo is reached via the crosswalk at Sloat Blvd.

    Fleishhacker Pool

    Pool was where the current San Francisco Zoo parking lot sits. The Fleishhacker Pool opened in April of 1925 to a crowd of 5,000 Built by Herbert Fleishhacker, it was "1,000 feet long, 150 feet wide, 13 feet deep at its deepest point, held 6,000,000 gallons of ocean water, could accommodate 10,000 swimmers, was so large that 12 to 24 lifeguards used wooden row boats to patrol the pool, and was the largest pool in the United States. When a lifeguard asked Fleishhacker why he had built such a large pool, he responded by telling the lifeguard to swim the entire length. When the lifeguard returned, he responded, “Did anyone get in your way?” The lifeguard said no; and Fleishhacker promptly replied, “That’s why.”

    A 450-foot-long bath house, with lockers and changing room for 800 swimmers was at the edge of the pool. An upstairs restaurant looked out to the pool on one side and the Pacific Ocean on the other.

    Salt water was pumped into the pool at high tide through a pipeline from the ocean and then pumped out at low tide. By 1971, a storm damaged in the intake pipe, but the funds to repair it weren't available. It lay dormant then was filled with sand and gravel to serve as an access road for maintenance trucks. In summer of 2002 it became a parking lot for the zoo. However, pool still sits intact under the asphalt parking lot.


    Public Transportation To:
  • Take "Muni - L - towards Wawona/46th Ave /Sf Zoo (35 min)
  • Off Board, NW Corner of 46th Ave & Vicente St
  • Walk to San Francisco Zoo, San Francisco - (6 min walk)

    Public Transportation From:
  • Walk to Wawona/46th Ave /Sf Zoo, San Francisco - (4 min walk)
  • Take "Muni - L - towards Metro Embarcadero Station" (37 min)
  • Off Board, Metro Embarcadero Station, San Francisco (37 min ride)


    Fort Funston

    Nike Base

    It is a former Nike missile base that is currently all welded shut. The launch site is now a parking lot for the Fort Funston hand gliding area.


    Turn left into Fort Funston and follow along the Great Highway on a sandy horse trail.
    At the top of the ridge, turn right and follow the asphalt road south through the sand dunes.
    Follow the trail to the beach. When the trail forks, take the right fork.

    About 3/8 mile later, turn right and go through the Battery Davis Tunnel.

    You will come to a viewing platform from which you may see hang gliders.

    Public Transportation To:
  • Take "Muni - L - towards Wawona/46th Ave /Sf Zoo" (33 min ride)
  • Off Board, NE Corner of Taraval St & 46th Ave
  • At the NW corner, take "Muni - 18 - towards 19th Ave & Buckingham Way" (9 min ride)
  • Off Board, S Corner of John Muir Dr & Skyline Blvd
  • Walk to Fort Funston, San Francisco - (1 min walk)

    Public Transportation From:
  • Walk to John Muir Dr & Skyline Blvd - (1 min walk)
  • At the NE corner, take "Muni - 18 - towards Legion Of Honor" (5 min ride)
  • Off Board, SE Corner of 46th Ave & Wawona St
  • Walk to Wawona/46th Ave /Sf Zoo, San Francisco - (3 min walk)
  • Take "Muni - L - towards Metro Embarcadero Station" (37 min ride)
  • Off Board, Metro Embarcadero Station, San Francisco



    Phillip Burton Beach

    It is one of the top bay area places to kitesurf in the bay area with wind averaging 14-18 knots on 76 kitesurfing days a year. However, the beach can be dangerous during high tides, with waves known to suck visitors out to the ocean.

    Phillip Burton


    Phillip Burton (June 1, 1926 – April 10, 1983) was a United States Representative who was instrumental in creating the Golden Gate National Recreation Area.

  • Wednesday, October 30, 2013

    San Francisco Bay Trail: Embarcadero to Fort Point


    This is a side trip to the California Coastal Trail.

    The F car serves the wharf areas up to Hyde Street. The stairs across from the Warming Hut lead to the toll plaza, which is served by Muni 76. The F car and Muni 76 go to the Embarcadero BART station. The Warming Hut has a limited menu and restrooms.

    Fort Point