SF Bay Trail Series 2: Lands End

Where can you find a place where you can get a good workout, a place to relax and meditate, commune with Mother Nature, take beautiful photos, and have an unobstructed view of the most photographed bridge in the world?
Il y aura dans nos yeux tout le ciel bleu (Photo by the author)

A Place for Workout
We started our walk from the opposite end of the trail, by Sutro Heights, which was literally behind my brother’s backyard. There was a marker at the beginning of the trail: To Overlook 0.3 mi., To Eagle’s Point 1.4 mi., To USS SF 0.2 mi., To Mile Rock Beach 0.8 mi. Added together, the mileage totaled 2.7 and seemed to be a very easy walk, a little over five miles back and forth.  However, a few minutes after walking the packed dirt walkway, we took a detour to descend the stairway that led to the rocky beach. At the bottom of the first stairway, we cut into another stairway where I noticed the ancient cypress trees with the trunks bending into different directions, the roots forming into art shapes.

Pretty good shape for the shape you are in!  (Photo by the author)

A Place to commune with Nature
I was hoping to hike Lands End on a foggy day so I could also take dramatic pictures, but the sky was blue and there was no trace of fog yesterday.  We could hear the foghorn in the background though.  As we reached the bottom of the steps, my walking companion exclaimed, “Moonrise Kingdom!”  The rocky shore reminded us of the scene, where the kids went running away to dance and kiss in the movie, "Moonrise Kingdom".  And the blue sky reminded us of the song  "Le Temps de l'Amour" also from the movie. [click on the link below to listen to the music]
"Moonrise Kingdom"   (Photo by the author)

Danger Zone (Photo by the author)
A Rugged Wilderness
From the rocky beach, we skipped the stairs and climbed back up on the very narrow trail to the very top of the hill overlooking the whole spectrum of nature, with the Pacific Ocean whipping whitecaps and the water splashing over the dark colored rocks below. The dramatic views almost made me forget why we were there in the first place. So I went back down to count the steps: a total of 265 steps. Since I went through it twice (265 x 2 = 530 steps), I had a pretty good cardio workout. But it was not the end of the steps.

On the other side of the packed dirt trail, we found huge rocks covered by lichens, and more ancient trees with the trunks bent to form benches as if to offer us a place to sit and rest. We descended a not so steep staircase. Wait! More stairways, I counted 256 more steps. Yay, more cardio! At the top of the steps, we found a warning sign, “PEOPLE HAVE FALLEN TO THEIR DEATH! KEEP OUT”. We got the message.
Seriously, how many more steps? (Photo by the author)

A Place to Relax and Meditate
We continued to walk along the side overlooking the Pacific Ocean, catching a glimpse of the Golden Gate Bridge and China Beach. We passed a couple (a puppy and his mistress) on the corner bend trying to relax and meditate. The puppy barked at me. Perhaps to tell me to lower the volume of my footsteps as he was trying to meditate and let the wind carry his worries out into the ocean.
  Down Dog Pose or Simply Pausing to Meditate (Photo by the author)

A Place for Wannabe Photographers Like Me
We passed a few tourists on the corner bend taking photos of themselves with the most famous bridge in the background.  We walked past the Lands End sign, and kept going until we reached Camino Del Mar to admire (no...drool over) those gazillion dollar homes with marvelous views. What did the owners do to deserve such heaven on earth?  On the return walk, we slowed down to take in the beauty of nature and take photos. Hence, the random photos!

"Weaving Thoughts and Tracing Symmetry"  (Photo by the author)

"Sideways"  (Photo by the author)

"Ancient but still in Good Shape"  (Photo by the author)

"Networking"  (Photo by the author)
 More Moonrise Kingdom  (Photo by the author)



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