Hiking Angel Island and Pictures from the Bay
San Francisco Travel Blog› entry 17 of 31 › view all entries
You know, for only $15, you can take an awesome boat tour of San Francisco. I realized this when we went to Angel island for a hike, and I ended up taking a gazillion photos on the ferry ride.
I met Michelle and Puppy at the ferry building before 10AM on a Sunday. The annoyance of having to get out of bed and junk was countered by a giant cup of coffee from Peet's and a trip to the Cowgirl Creamery. I managed to drop $30 on three peices of cheese, but goddam that Humboldt Fog is good. It's like a creamy gorgonzola wrapped in brie or something, which is what I imagine heaven to taste like... And yes, if I ever reached heaven, I would try to taste it.
The ferry took us to fisherman's wharf, where it took us 10 minutes of waiting on the boat to notice the peir full of sea lions, stacked one of top of another like overfed sardines.
Mel: "They say the sea lions just started showing up one day..."
Me: "They started showing up one day that the tourist bureau decided to start feeding them"
The ferry the headed off the Angel island, cruising right by Alcatraz and views of the skyline, the bay bridge and the golden gate bridge. As we neared Angel Island, we found ourselves surrounded by sailboats enjoying a sunny day on the bay.
We docked and headed up the North Ridge Trail, the shorter way to the top of Mt. Livermore. After a section of stairs, the trail becomes very gradual and easy to get up. It didn't take us too long to get to the top, where there are some pretty views of the surrounding bay, the city, the golden gate and Marin. On a clear day, you can see very far from the top, but this being San Francisco, there was a good layer of fog drifting in and out on the west side.
I always forget about the fog, since I live in the Mission, which is really sunny all the time and about 7 degrees warmer than the rest of the city. Logically, it's because it's in a valley, but I like to tell people that the inhabitants of the latin-dominated Mission imported the weather from their homelands.
There are some picnic benches at the top, and we had a veritable feast of expensive cheese, wine, meats, fruit, veggies and vegan crackers that Mel brought, which were flavored with "Himalayan salt", which, you know, must taste better than plebian salt because it's imported by sherpas. Or so I imagine.
Anyway, Reaux managed to stack every food item we had on top of one of these crackers, making a cheese-rasberry-banana-green bean-smoked salmon-pastrami-cracker sandwhich, which only Reaux could find appetizing.
The picnic table we found was at the top of a steep hill that dropped quicky down to the ocean, barricaded by ropes. Of course, I decided that on top of said ropes was the comfiest place to sit. The fog rolled in an out as we ate, revealing the tips of the city across the water as we drank our wine. It was like a French avante garde hiking trip or something.
I was still at the top of the hill when I finally read the brochure for Angel Island.... and realized the island used to be a detention center for Chinese people. Damn, that's like accidentally hiking into Tule Lake.
We hiked back down along the Sunset Trail, a longer, more winding trail down the opposite side of the mountain, through an open grassy ridge and then a woodsy section with wierd Blair Witch trees.
The ferry ride back brought pretty afternoon views of the bay, with sailboats drifting lazily in front of the Golden Gate Bridge, and the sun reflected against the downtown skyscrapers.