Hmm, today was very random and fun.
I went to the farmer’s market at about 12:30, which was pretty late seeing as they close at 1, although if you go then you sometimes get some good deals, because they’d rather sell it cheap than pack it all back up.
Anyway, bought about 5-6 pounds of fruits and vegetables and put them in my backpack, grabbed lunch at the slanted door, and then as far as I know, the initial plan was to go back home on the same bus transfer.
But then, I decided to see how easy it was to walk from Fisherman’s Wharf to Fort Mason, which is a trek I’ll be making next Saturday with my parents who are visiting. But there were too many people waiting for the streetcar to go from the Ferry Building to Fisherman’s Wharf, so I decided to walk there.
Now, I was debating about going to the gym because a few days back I apparently did some intense cardio workout or something because both of my calves have been sore for days. I have no recollection of doing anything out of the ordinary, nothing longer, or a leg workout, nothing. Anyway, they’ve been sore, so I decided I should walk to the wharf and that will be much lower intensity and I’ll still get a bit of a workout in.
So, I walk to Pier 39, through the main tourist area, past the Cannery, past Ghirardelli Square, up and around a path, and then down into Fort Mason. I even duck into Green’s-to-Go and get an amazing fig thing that is basically like a fig newton if you put the filling of like eight fig newtons into one, with a hint of orange with it, nice.
Anyway, with my mission accomplished, i still felt good about walking and it was such a nice day, so I continued. I walked down along the bay, past the marina, past the Palace of Fine Arts, and finally was approaching the Golden Gate Bridge.
Now, the bridge is sort of an illusion, so you think you’re almost there for quite some time, but eventually, there I was underneath it at Fort Point. I ducked in there to look around, but they were about to close it, so I backtracked, climbed up the path to where there is pedestrian access to the bridge, and decided I would go walk out onto it for a bit.
Seeing as I was not planning to be out doing this, I was only wearing a T-shirt and cargo shorts. The fort closed at 5, so it was starting to get a bit cold. But, the way the wind was blowing, it seemed like the angle favored the pedestrian sidewalk, and it was actually rather delightful.
So, then I’m on the other side of the bridge at Point Vista or whatever it’s called, reaching into my bag and eating one of the organic gaia apples I bought at the market to take a bit of a break from my very long walk. This is probably four or more hours of walking at this point (for those who don’t know the distance from the landmarks I’m mentioning).
Of course, there is little option at this point but to walk back to San Francisco, so I start my walk back and wonder when this walk will end. I still feel OK, just a hint of sunburn, and knowing the sun will be setting within 3 hours and it will be getting much colder.
I am surprised to find that the height of the bridge actually freaks me out a bit, as I never have an issue with heights. I think it the combination of what is a seemingly very low fence, very strong winds, and absolutely nothing under you (which seems to be the crucial piece of the puzzle, as everywhere else I encounter heights, there is a bunch of stuff there to break any potential falls, but not here). Also, in every section of concrete there is a hole (I assume it was poured elsewhere and the hole was used by the crane to move it into position), but you can see through the hole down into the water below, and more surprising is how thin the concrete seems to be, only like three or four inches). I watch as a young father walks next to the edge with his young daughter’s legs wrapped around his head, and him only casually holding her legs as though they were walking through their kitchen or something. Thankfully nothing tragic happens, but it seems so.. possible.
So, back on the San Francisco side of the bridge, and I’m not sure where to go, because there is a huge area I’m unfamiliar with between the bridge and all points west.
As I debate what to do, a MUNI bus pulls up, so I get on. I only take it to Lombard and Divisadero, which isn’t all that far, but enough that it was worth the cash. I walk on Divisadero to Geary, which means up an incredibly steep hill for many, many blocks, and then down the hill. I take the Geary bus out until the end of Geary (which wasn’t out the beach, to my surprise). I had to walk about 10 blocks until I was at the Cliff House and Sutro Baths. I haven’t been there in a while, and it is entirely new, both the restaurant and surrounding building. Looks very nice.
I make it to the Pacific Ocean as the sun is setting. Good view, but I know this means I need to get moving, because once I lose the light, the T-shirt and shorts will be an even worse outfit than it already is now.
From there, I walk down to the beach, and a whole new culture emerges, where people just hang out with nice bonfires blazing on the beach, and people with guitars, and lots of younger people. I confirm where Judah street is, and it’s quite a haul down the beach, so I pit stop at three different bonfires, getting as toasty as possible before moving down to the next one.
When I reach Judah, I check to see the street numbers, as I want to try a cafe in the 4000 block. The end of the street is in the 4500 blocks, so I hike in to see if the place is open. It is. It’s called the Feel Real Cafe, and it some new vegan cafe. I’ve heard good things, but have been skeptical to go because they supposedly don’t keep normal hours and don’t answer the phone, so it’s hit or miss if they will be there.
I decide to stay on my healthy groove for the day and get some salad with the word "Mystic" in it. The very chilled out guy at the counter says the salad is "epic," so I go for it. The salad has no price, as the menu says they love it so much, they can’t put a value on it, so it’s pay-what-it’s-worth, basically. I’d much prefer a price, and everything else on the menu does have a price, but that was the salad he recommended, so I order it.
As I had read about this place, it has its own vibe. The place is nearly empty at this late hour, but my salad still takes quite a while. Reggae music fills the room, as I can hear them in the back chopping fresh ingredients for my salad. Nothing is cut before I ordered, it is being made by hand for me. The people in the kitchen dance and sing while they prepare it.
At one point, one of the cooks comes out of the kitchen for a while, so he has more room to dance for a bit. Then, he goes back in and the chopping resumes. Again, I had heard as much, so I’m in no rush. I don’t even have anything on me to know what time it is, but I’m guessing this salad took 30 minutes, with no other person ordering food in the entire place.
When it comes, it is huge. If you have a huge bowl for mashed potatoes that you use on Thanksgiving, it is probably the same size as the bowl for my salad. The salad is a spring mix, with red cabbage, walnuts, sunflower seeds, raisins, cucumbers, shredded carrot, celery, and other things I’m unsure of. I have no idea what it was dressed with, but it was very lightly dressed and the ingredients were exquisitely fresh and perfect. I finished the salad.
After that, I took the Judah Metro line all the way home, returning 11 hours after i initially left the house, finally getting to remove the six pounds of fruits and vegetables from the farmer’s market that I carried for this whole trip, lighting up some scented candles, and taking a nice bubble bath.
Afterward, I rubbed Aveda Foot therapy lotion on my feet, and gave them both a nice massage since today was certainly a shock to the system for them. Then I wrote this blog entry. And now, I’m going to bed. I expect to sleep rather soundly tonight.
I have no clue how long that walk was… over ten miles for sure, I would think. Fifteen, maybe? Oh well, we’ll see if my legs feel better tomorrow, seeing as the entire opint of starting the walk was to give them a rest, heh.