Glen Canyon, Tiled Steps, Sunset Beach

Sunset Beach!

SMS and I had an awesome Saturday together!  After I came back from my weekly running group, I was feeling a little uninspired in the planning department.  I’m usually the one who plans our adventures but yesterday, SMS took the lead and we ended up having the best time.

Giant Boulders!

We got ready to go and were dressed in our sporty gear because our first stop was Glen Canyon, a preserve and excellent bouldering site.  We parked on Crags Ct (auspicious name!) and hiked into the canyon.  It was awesome.  There were a lot of hikers and it had a nice neighborly feel.  We went over to the boulders where SMS found a lot of awesome routes, most of which had not been written about online.

The rock was very feature-y and a lot of fun to climb.  The rocks were on the large side and I was leary of bouldering that high (aka, no rope since that’s what bouldering is) so I mostly lain out in the sun, which felt amazing.  There were a few other climbers there and it was really a fantastic spot.

After we hiked out of the canyon, we headed back to the car and drove over to the Golden Gate Heights neighborhood.  Our destination was the 16th Ave Tiled Steps, a community art project spanning 163 steps.  It was absolutely beautiful and a stunning example of how much San Francisco has to offer, most of which I’m not even aware of!  The steps are quite popular and attracted local and foreign tourists.  What’s even better about the steps is that they lead to Grand View Park, a tiny clearing on the top of a hill next to Twin Peaks that has an absolutely phenomenal view of the city.  We also had the best weather yesterday so it was really fantastic.

Grand View Park’s Grand View

We walked towards Inner Sunset to see another set of 148 tiled steps, The Hidden Garden Steps.  They were also beautiful and no one else was there.  Not that I expect a tourist destination to be completely devoid of people, but it is fun when I get to experience something as if it’s a hidden treasure!  We actually looked at the steps more on the way back up but first, we stopped at a completely delightful coffee shop Hollow.

Hollow

Hollow brews Ritual Coffee and has a spare, beach-y feeling aesthetic inside.  There are old-fashioned light bulbs, a beautiful bar and a backroom with a small collection of beautiful things for sale, mainly toiletries, perfumes and expensive chocolates.  I loved it and wished it was closer to Mountain View.  It would be my go-to spot!

On the way back to the car, we walked up the Hidden Garden Steps and thought the tilework was really beautiful- maybe slightly prettier than the 16th St Steps but it’s hard to decide!

At this point, it was about 45 minutes to sunset.  I suggested watching from Grand View Park but SMS downvoted that idea because he was “done climbing steps.”  This seemed pretty wise and we decided to head to Outer Sunset and watch the sunset from there.

We walked along the dunes because there were paths through them that SMS, earth and dunes protector deemed dune-friendly.  I was very happy because last time, we didn’t see any and SMS thwarted my sand dune sledding/running plans.  I didn’t want to be known as the destroyer of dunes and I realized he was right but this time, through the dune paths we went!

The sunset was really pretty and again, the visibility was fantastic.  We saw all the way out to Farallon Islands, which we later researched and found hilarious Google+ reviews about it.  For the record, it’s closed to public access and is a wildlife preserve, mostly used by migrating birds.

Clearly, no one likes William

We drove back towards home and stopped in Los Altos for dinner.  We went to a Greek restaurant that was pretty good, but the feel of the town is sort of old-people touristy in the manner of La Jolla cove or Orange St in Coronado.  Wherever there’s a Chico’s…

After dinner, we watched an episode of Archer, a not new cartoon spoof of a retro-modern spy agency.  It’s ridiculously not-PC but it’s also pretty funny and one of the few shows that we can watch together and both be entertained.  Now I need to carve out some time to watch Season 3 of House of Cards since that’s not interesting to SMS at all.

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