|The Mosaic Staircase at Moraga and 16th|
I fell in love with stairways on this trip. I know that sounds weird, but I really did. I would get so excited every time I would see one. Each had a different design and ornamentation. It was such a fun game trying to find where they were hidden between houses and at the terminus of dead end streets.
Many of the stairways were surrounded by spectacular gardens. These pedestrian passages were community centers and the glue to many of these neighborhoods. Without a connecting stairway between two streets, residents might never interact with each other, much less grow vegetables and raise bees together. Stairways are also the focal point of a lot of exercise groups. I ran into many of these groups on my hike as well as a few folks who were using Adah Bakalinsky's book to explore the city.
I was also pleased to see that there were a lot of native plant gardens. These green spaces provide important habitat for endangered butterflies such as the Mission Blue and the Green Hairstreak. I actually had some really great nature moments during my hike. In Golden Gate Park I saw a Red-Tailed Hawk catch a vole. And in the Presidio there were three baby cygnets with their parents.
Even cement couldn't keep the Poppies from thriving:
Here are some of the stairways:
The 42 hills of San Francisco also make for numerous stunning views. Whether shrouded in fog or illuminated in sunshine, this city is gorgeous. I learned a lot about the power of the elements on this trip. Mountains aren't the only places that have powerful weather. The weather alternated constantly between blowing cold fog and skin burning sunshine.
On top of Twin Peaks I felt like I was climbing through the blowing fog of Mt. Washington:
San Francsco is also a very quirky city filled with unexpected surprises:
|Seward Stone Slides|
|I could've used one of these|
Other great sights:
|The End of the Hike in Pt. Reyes|