Friday, October 4, 2013

14-Mile SF Walking Adventure

As I mentioned in my last post, I went on an epic walk with friends this past Sunday. It was inspired by The Bold Italic and their post regarding an exploration of the outer edges of San Francisco. This was shared with me by my friend Jason (aka "The Healthy Yelper"), who convinced my friend JenBen (his sister) and me to join him on a 20+ mile walk around the city's outermost parts.

First, a little friendship history. JenBen and I met in 6th grade so I have been friends with this sister/brother duo for over 20 years. Woah.

Back to Sunday's fitness date...

After spending hours in the first neighborhood on our journey, we realized that we wouldn't be making it through the entire 20+ miles in one day. However, we did walk 14 miles. (Yes! 14 miles. In one day.) Of course, I took lots of photos along the way so I could share our trip here.


Let's go!

My trip began just after 8 am, when I hopped on BART to meet JenBen and Jason in San Francisco.

From the Embarcadero station, we took Muni out to a neighborhood called The Bayview, located in the southeastern corner of the city. I'll be honest, the Bayview is not considered to be a tourist destination. I think most people would actually advise others to avoid it. However, we learned this past Sunday morning that the Bayview has a number of hidden gems to share.

Gem #1: Bayview Park. This was our first stop of the day, located just a couple blocks from the Le Conte Ave Muni stop.

Good Morning, San Francisco!

You're seeing what I'm seeing, right? GORGEOUS view of the city. Fabulous photo opportunity!

Here's another nice friends Facebook updating and Instagram-ing the view...

After a nice hike around the park, we moved on to enjoy the best americanos and cinnamon toasts ever from (Gem #2) Trouble Coffee.

Photo by JenBen.

Seriously. That toast was incredible -- smothered with the perfect butter-cinnamon-sugar blend.

From our first food stop, we made our way briskly down 3rd Street to Flora Grubb Gardens (Gem #3) and the coffee shop inside, Ritual Gardens (Gem #3.5). There we spent a good five minutes taking photos of this wall...

...and then I snuck a photo of some of their plant life offerings while Jason got caffeine #2. 

Aaaaaand, we're still in the Bayview! From this green, peaceful spot we moved on to park #2 on the list, Heron's Head Park (Gem #4).

There is a bit of a walk out to the end but totally worth it. There are also benches along the way for sitting and soaking in the peacefulness. 

Can I take a moment to point out, if you haven't noticed already, what an absolutely beautiful day it was? It was absolutely beautiful. (Consult previous photos for proof.)

After Heron's Head Park, we finally made our way out of the Bayview. 

Next up...AT&T Park. No worries if you don't have tickets. They have a viewing area where, after a quick bag search and metal detector scan, you can peek through the fence and watch as much (or as little) of the game as you'd like.

After our short visit to the ballpark, we kept moving to the Embarcardo. JenBen tried to climb the bow and arrow and she was marginally successful.

Through the bow and arrow, you can catch a glimpse of the Ferry Building, our next destination. At the Ferry Building we quenched our thirst and rumbling tummies with goodies from Pressed Juicery, washed down with biscuits from Biscuit Bender

After our short break at the Ferry Building, we kept moving to Pier 39, Fisherman's Wharf, etc. I spent our brisk walk through this part of town looking back fondly on our earlier experiences that day...The Bayview doesn't have tourists.

Have I mentioned how fabulous the weather was on Sunday? Here's one more example, just in case you aren't convinced...

Seriously. We had the perfect day. We wrapped up our adventure by walking through Fort Mason and the Marina and ultimately ended up at The Blue Light for a drink. 

WHEW! Those 14 miles were both exciting and exhausting. Oh, and the remaining miles will happen at a later date and I will post Adventure #2 here...of course.

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