Thursday, January 5, 2017

Walking to Lands End

We were all up for an adventure on a warm post-Christmas day so Biboy and Barbara brought me along on a "hiking" trip to a National Park in San Francisco called Lands End. Actually, it's part of the Golden Gate National Recreational Area. But it wasn't much of a hike for me because we were walking leisurely through mild slopes... not like when Joyce and I hiked with Beethoven and I ended up barfing on the side of the trail (thanks to kiwis... I am not drinking kiwi shakes before any strenuous activity anymore!).

So, sufficiently covered up for our trip, we exited the car and started walking. By the way, warm here means we weren't surrounded by snow.

Anyway, back to Lands End. Our adventure walk started at the famous Cliff House. A restaurant I have on my San Francisco to-visit list. The window seats have a breath-taking view of the California coast of the Pacific Ocean. Alas, we weren't there to eat. It was merely a stop before we reached (literally) Lands End. I shall stop again here one day, but I'd purposely go here to eat.

While walking, we saw our first glimpse of the ruins of the Sutro Baths. It used to be saltwater pool complex. It's difficult for me to imagine that this was once an indoor swimming pool complex. Expectedly, it's difficult to maintain; after all, the saltwater can be damaging. 

Then we entered the park. Now, I started seeing the trees. The trees here were quite different from the forest that Joyce and I visited and the national park that Ate Maddie and I visited too. Here, the trees were sparse; perhaps because they're closer to the sea. 

And then I spied a little map on the side of the trail that helped me get my bearings... where we were in the greater scheme of things, shall I say. Based on the map, we were on the west side of the San Francisco peninsula. As we walked closer and closer to the water, we'd start to see the Golden Gate Bridge from a different angle.

Not sure. This vantage point is already different for me. For the first time, I was looking at the Golden Gate Bridge from the Pacific side of the "Chrysopylae", the Golden Gate strait. I was actually looking towards the San Francisco Bay for the first time!

As we started our descent to the beach, I couldn't help but notice that it's such a rocky shoreline! People were actually lounging by the rocks and the logs while watching the waves crash nearby.

And by crash, I mean CRASH!

The waves were so powerful here. If I haven't been to Hawai'i's coastline (watching surfers) before this trip, I'd be shocked at how big the waves could get.

Ah... so the rocks I saw from the top of the mountain were actually sculptures that people left here. Why they want to put rocks on top of each other by the sea, with the huge possibility that these could be wiped out by an especially big wave, I cannot comprehend. Perhaps, if I'd push putting meaning onto a random pastime, this rock tower has something to do with how temporary life can be.

Not content with rock towers, people have also made Jenga towers under low-lying tree branches. I wouldn't dare play this game. The consequence has heavy repercussions...

It was, indeed, a great day to be outside. Exercise. Leisure walk. Nature trip. No wonder a lot of people in California (at least in the San Francisco area) are health buffs.