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Erin goes on a Dadventure

I take Erin to San Francisco a lot. I have a valid Go pass until the end of the year, so we ride the train for free.

We usually just do a walk from the Caltrain station at 4th & King to Pier 39 and back. She loves being in the backpack, and even falls asleep sometimes for long stretches.

It's a decent walk, up over a huge hill when I take Powell from Union Square, but now that I've done it a few times I've started craving a little variety. I like being able to point to things and talk to Erin while we're walking, but in order to keep up my patter I too need to be interested in what I'm seeing. So today I decided I'd try a different route.

I'm fairly familiar with the City, but I don't have a map in my head, and I have virtually no concept of distances there; I've usually been in a car when I've gone in the past and when I'm driving I'm more concerned with not going the wrong way down a 1-way street than I am with how far we've driven.

That being said...

I decided to walk from the 4th & King Caltrain Station to the De Young Museum in Golden Gate Park. I had some vague idea that Golden Gate Park was somewhere near the Golden Gate Bridge (my City friends can go ahead and laugh now), so I set off.

First, to Union Square.

Then up Geary a ways until I got bored (I've been on Geary before) so I zigged over to Sutter and took that through Nob Hill and Japantown (I think it was Japantown)

From Sutter I continued toward Arguello where I saw a bike route sign indicating that the Golden Gate Bridge and Presidio were further up Arguello, should I choose to follow it.

"Hmm. Presdio, Presidio. Well, the bridge is up this way, and I think the Presidio is a big park area, so I think Golden Gate Park might be IN the Presidio. I'll go that way." (My City friends can laugh a little bit harder now. They can laugh even harder knowing that I've actually BEEN to Golden Gate Park before, a couple of times.)

I went to the Presidio, saw a bit of the golf course, and found Inspiration Point:

I also saw a map of the Presidio and the north end of the City. Down in the very bottom left hand corner of the area map (not the detail map of the Presidio) I saw the green strip that represents Golden Gate Park. I was in the WRONG PLACE. Not too wrong. Just, um, 2 miles wrong. Crap. Why isn't Golden Gate Park near the Golden Gate Bridge? Bastards.

South I went, the way I came on Arguello, until I hit Geary (Oh, look at that. The boring street I left earlier because I had walked it before turns out to go almost the entire way to the Park. I'm a jackass). I followed Geary for a bit (another one of those bike route signs, this time indicating that Golden Gate Park was in the offing, drew me on) then left at 4th and a little walk along Fulton to 6th, then into the Park and the De Young, whose parking garage was under construction, and whose grand plaza area was oddly deserted.

I was a little tired by then, and a little put off by the $10.50 pre-made sandwiches in the De Young Cafe, so I lacked the enthusiasm to actually go exploring the De Young. I also didn't want to bother getting a stroller at the desk; they wanted me to check my backpack, the one with the baby in it, to enjoy the musuem. I considered it, but ultimately, well, Erin and I have seen the De Young already, and it was getting late by the time she was done with her snack in the Cafe.

I thought about getting on a bus to take me back to the Caltrain station at 4th & King (the 5 picks up on Fulton and goes to 4th and Market or thereabouts), but then I thought "Hell, I've come this far. Let's finish it." So I walked along Fulton to City Hall

then zagged down to Mission and took that to 4th, where I hung a right and got back on the train at 4th and King.

Google Map of the route:

View Larger Map

Arrival time: We disembarked Caltrain in the City at noon.
Departure time: We returned to the Caltrain station at 5:30pm.
Total Distance: 12.3 miles.

Call it a half hour at Inspiration point, and an hour at the De Young for an approximate total walking time of 4 hours. We also walked for about half an hour to get from our apartment to the Caltrain station in Menlo Park.

My hamstrings and hips are going to kill me tomorrow.


( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
Oct. 30th, 2007 06:12 am (UTC)
Shawn, you did at least three things with this post: (1) made me chuckle, indeed, (2) made me miss SF, and (3) made me smile at what a freaking spectacular dad you appear to be. Good goin' on each.

( 1 comment — Leave a comment )