South End of the Golden Gate Bridge to Fort Funston.

July 18, San Francisco County
South End of the Golden Gate Bridge to Fort Funston.

9.3 miles.

Quote of the day: From the Codex Justinianus, 529 A.D. By the law of nature these things are common to all mankind, the air, running water, the sea and consequently the shores of the sea.
We spent last night at the Fort Mason International Youth Hostel. There must be some rule in the Youth Hostel handbook, which we have overlooked. That rule must state that at sometime after midnight someone is appointed to enter each dorm room, turn on the overhead light, and commence to rearrange all of his belongings using the floor as a workspace. How nice that one of our sponsors is California State Parks and that we will soon be back camping. In San Francisco County the Coastal Trail is largely in place and signed by the Golden Gate National Recreation Area (GGNRA). Beginning at the south end of the bridge with Fran Gibson guiding, and two journalists from the Contra Costa Times, we walk the trail past civil war bunkers, which guarded the entrance to the bay long before there was a bridge. We then walked the CCT just off of Lincoln Avenue, and walk down towards Baker Beach. We are told this section is scheduled for upgrading by the National Park Service. At the west end of Baker Beach we climbed a stairway to the Sea Cliff neighborhood. Here we play “guess the sales price (in the multiple of millions) as we walk past mansion after mansion. Soon, after passing above China Beach we leave the residential area and enter the Lands End portion of the GGNRA, walking for a bit past the Lincoln Golf Course. Staying close to the bluff edge, we are soon at a parking lot above the ruins of the Sutro Baths. This was long a popular spot for San Franciscans and contained immense salt water swimming pools. A part of the trail we have been hiking was the railroad bed built by Sutro to take patrons to his seaside attraction. Nearby is the third of four Cliff House restaurants. The first two burnt and the third is in the process of being modernized.
From here we descended from the bluffs to Ocean Beach. Here, on the promenade we met Victoria Reichenberg and Justin Graham in thrift store wedding attire. Their upcoming event is August 24 in Cambria and they were taking some pre-wedding pictures. They consented to join all of us for a group shot and the Expedition gave its blessing to their union. Then we detoured, first to buy lunch materials and then to enter Golden Gate Park to eat lunch at the North Dutch (or Queen) Wilhelmina Windmill. Built in 1902 and recently restored, it’s original purpose was to supply water to the park. Now it stands next to a small lawn and flower garden area, a perfect spot for a picnic lunch.
We then went back to Ocean Beach to walk upon the hard waterside sands as the fog came in. It was easy to see how in such a fog the entrance to San Francisco Bay could be missed by many of the early explorers of the area. We continued along the beach past remnants of military bunkers and gun emplacements to Fort Funston, home of an official amateur and professional dog walkers area, a take-off site for hang gliders, and the end of our hike. (Jon Breyfogle: photos, Linda Hanes)

Left: Baker Beach and Seacliff, San Francisco,GGNRA. Right: fisherman on the beach at Fort Funston, GGNRA.