Escape from the Heat

We decided to try and escape from the unseasonable heat in San Francisco today by taking a drive to Muir Woods.

I thought this sign just outside the entrance to the park was rather unexpected:

"First Amendment Area: This area has been set aside for individuals or groups exercising their constitutional first amendment rights. The National Park Service neither encourages or discourages, or otherwise endorses, these activities and receives no funds in relation to these activities."


I wonder what catalyzed the National Park Service to post this signage.

We hiked the two mile loop trail which is comprised of a mixture of boardwalk and a slightly uneven dirt path. We were especially impressed by this tree ring cross section. The tree was born in 900 AD! That's before Columbus, or Magellan, or even the Vikings set out on their explorations. This tree ultimately met its demise in 1930 according to the rings. That's over 1000 years old! Amazing!

The Redwoods soared to great heights in the park and we were simply awed.

Check out this slide show for a number of great snaps from our walk.



Next up, we drove to Stinson Beach. The drive from Muir Woods was pretty harrowing along the Panoramic Highway and consisted of sharp turns and switch-backs for several miles. It was worth it though when we popped out along the water and caught a glimpse of the Pacific Ocean. We parked and walked along the beach. I loved this colorful umbrella.

In fact, people and umbrellas dotted the sand along the water for a long stretch.

We were hungry at this point and opted for a sit down lunch at the Parkside Cafe.

We were greeted by this little fellow outside the Cafe. He was whimpering and seemed to be pining away for his owner who was dining inside.

We ate outside on the patio and took in some fresh ocean air. We also watched the birds hovering nearby hoping to grab some crumbs off our plates when we weren't looking.

We took a quick walk around the town. We saw this colorful hopscotch game chalked onto the sidewalk in a small park.
The park also featured this colorful mosaic water fountain.

We decided to return to the City by way of Muir Beach along the Pacific Coast Highway. More switchbacks and an even more harrowing drive ensued. This time, we were traveling north and thus were on the outside edge of the road. There were steep cliffs at the side of the road and often times there was no barrier to prevent the car from plummeting with one wrong move. Once again, the scenic vistas made this pulse-pounding ride totally worth it.

We stopped at a scenic overlook atop Muir Beach. We saw a fellow traveler resting in their car with their feet up. They'd better be careful, the sun was really strong. They wouldn't want to sunburn their soles.
When we got back to San Francisco we detoured into the Marina and showed Father J. around the Palace of Fine Arts.
There were a couple wedding parties getting their pictures taken in the park. We also saw these swans. Coincidence? Maybe... I'm not sure if these swans are native to the park or if they were imported to add ambiance to the wedding photos. Either way, they were gorgeous creatures.

We capped the afternoon with a stop at Tuttimelon on Chestnut St. The tart frozen yogurt with fruit was just what I needed to boost my energy level for one final stop...

...The Lyon Street steps and a quick visit with Goliath.

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Sidewalk Safari: Escape from the Heat
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Sidewalk Safari
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