Fort Funston to Rockaway Beach

July 19, San Mateo County
Fort Funston to Rockaway Beach – 8 miles

We camped last night at Rob Hill Boy Scout Camp at the west end of the Presidio on a hill overlooking Lincoln Ave. The wind blew strong, creating a cold evening; that was in stark contrast to the previous two days when the city appeared more enthralling than usual as it basked in glorious sunshine. We are a very prompt bunch, and maybe the cold hastened our resolve, but whatever the reason, most of us waited in the shelter of the Melmobile until time to leave for a special SF Coastwalk committee dinner and social. Marcia Popper welcomed us to her delightfully spacious SF home along with other members of the SF Coastwalk committee. We enjoyed the food spread out in both the dining room and living room. Some twenty-five of us exchanged ideas and chatted. It was 10PM before we arrived back in camp and quickly slipped into our tents.

Today we rose at 6 AM and rapidly moved about our duties. Sometime around midnight Niko Kyriakou, a young reporter with the Coast Weekly of Monterey Peninsula, arrived and we found him bedded in his sleeping bag in the morning. We have also been joined for a week by section hikers Patty and Paul Schoch of Sebastopol. We were taken back to Ft. Funston where we picked up our starting point and our leader, Marilynn Mariano, a long-time San Mateo Coastwalk Coordinator. We enjoyed her steady pace, and arrived at our Event at Mori Point with time to spare. After we passed through Phillip Burton State Beach, most of our walk was on abandoned Thornton Beach State Park’s beach, and then along the promenade adjacent to Pacifica beaches. We saw more than one example of narrow, vacant plots of ground where only a few years before houses had perched on the cliff’s edge. At the far end of Pacifica’s beach, we reached Mori Point, our destination. Here we found assembled a group of people from Coastwalk, Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy, City of Pacifica, and others, who honored us as part of the GG Conservancy’s TRAILS FOREVER summer program. Thanks to the work of the Trust for Public Lands, Pacifica Lands Trust, funds from state agencies and the good work of local residents, Mori Point was recently saved from development and added to the GGNRA.

We walked with these people to the top of Mori Point, then down into Rockaway on the other side. We drove 10 miles down to our campsite, a state park site at Francis Beach. Here we met a local plover volunteer, Dennis Paull, who led us down to look for snowy plover chicks, eggs, and parent birds in the closed-off section of beach near us. He explained the program of monitoring plovers during the breeding season, and loaned us binoculars so we could take good looks at the small birds. (Janette Heartwood; photos, Linda Hanes) Left: Leaving Thorton Beach, Pacifica. Right: Arriving at Trails Forever event, Mori Point.