5.8 miles, 2.9 SF Bay Trail
Fort Mason to Fort Point in San Francisco is one of the Bay Trail segments I walk or ride the most--I love the Crissy Field lagoon and restoration area. This particular Sunday evening I was feeling both chagrined and encouraged because I'd danced until early in the morning then slept much of the day away. I had to drive to the city in late afternoon and rushed to fit a bike ride in, despite the gathering dusk. I'd started my Bay Trail rides down near Foster City but compromised this time on a closer segment.
The choice wasn't an accident. I'd been to Crissy Field the day before as well, at a memorial for Rex Sforza, a friend who died in his early 50s, far too young. He was a graphic artist at Apple and coach of a softball team with whose members I've been becoming friends. Rex was more a friend of friends than someone I was close to but I'd attended to be supportive, then gone dancing for balance.
The Warming Hut is a restaurant/gift shop and I snagged something I've been trying to find for several weeks. It's a folding packet of six San Francisco Bay Trail Maps produced in 2007 by The Bay Trail Project and ABAG (the Association of Bay Area Governments). It's also the most up-to-date version of the Bay Trail other than the Bay Trail Project website.
Across from the Marina Safeway I parked below Fort Mason, the headquarters of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, and followed the shoreline west along the Marina Green. Fort Mason includes old World War II warehouses turned into non-profit spaces along with Greens, a famous vegetarian restaurant.
It's a completely flat route and the evening weather was crisp. The views of the Golden Gate Bridge, Marin, Angel Island and Alcatraz are world class. You wind past the Marina then curve right toward the water at the edge of the Presidio, marked by a wall of Monterey cypress, the most recent addition to the National Recreation Area. Besides the salt air I could also smell pearly everlast near the cypress. It mystified me for years because it grows in urban areas as well as open space, but it's unmistakeable, a scent of maple syrup and nutmeg.
|Dune restoration at Crissy Field|
Face it, we're lucky to be alive, and those of us who live in first world countries lucky in plenty of other ways too--I didn't earn being a white American male with a significant income, though it has allowed me tremendous freedom. That's part of the reason that I'm using this blog to remind me to give back, in addition to my fitness goals.
|Crissy Field Lagoon|
|The "Warming Hut"and the Golden Gate Bridge|
Much of the Marina District was wetlands until filled in for the Panama-Pacific International Exposition "a world's fair held in San Francisco, California between February 20 and December 4 in 1915. Its ostensible purpose was to celebrate the completion of the Panama Canal, but it was widely seen in the city as an opportunity to showcase its recovery from the 1906 earthquake. The fair was constructed on a 635 acre site in San Francisco, along the northern shore now known as the Marina." The only remaining part of the Exposition is the Palace of Fine Arts.
Crissy Field served as a dump for debris from the 1906 earthquake then had many more lives, as an early airfield, a parade ground, then a parking lot popular among wind surfers. Between 1997 and 2000, in a project coordinated by the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy, a 100-acre area was restored and a 22 acre tidal lagoon created. Volunteers installed more than 100,000 dune plants. The Conservancy operates five nurseries in the parks, among many other projects.
|Fort Point and the Golden Gate Bridge|
According to its website: "Each year: •We collect over 1 million seeds. •We propagate over 400 of the 622 species native to the park. •We grow 90,000 to 170,000 plants for up to 50 different habitat restoration projects throughout the 75,000 acres of the park. •We have now begun propagation of replacement trees for the Presidio's historic forest and are propagating the unique historic roses and plants of Alcatraz."
It's a short distance beyond Crissy Field to reach Fort Point, a Civil War era fort built to protect Caliornia's gold and San Francisco bay. Golden Gate Bridge was constructed directly above the fort. A few more pictures and I turned around and retraced my route. It was only about 40 minutes round trip but the perfect beginning of a new week.
|The Palace of Fine Arts, at dusk|