Peak2Peak – 2013
It was only a matter of time before I found Walk SF. The more I traverse the city, research it’s history, and educate others the more connected I feel. San Francisco is a great place for walkers. Most of the time I can get where I want to go faster by foot than MUNI and, with our abundance of hills, the walk usually results in a beautiful unknown vista. Unfortunately walking can also be dangerous – whether it be the fear of being hit by oncoming traffic on a poorly marked crosswalk or the fear of being harassed by the homeless walking in a questionable neighborhood. I discovered Walk SF when I went to the screening of Better Market Street Project‘s documentary at the Public Library. They talked about making San Francisco a more livable, walkable city and reclaiming streets as shared public space for everyone to enjoy. Everyone can get behind that right? Even more intriguing was their pamphlet to join them in a city-wide walk, 12+ miles and 10 peaks in 1 day known as Peak2Peak.
“Peak2Peak is a near half-marathon of urban streets, hidden staircases, park trails, and glorious views — all with the civilized comforts of coffee shops, lunch in a meadow, and well-deserved beer when you’ve finished the hike! Lunch, snacks, drawing prizes, and a year’s membership to Walk San Francisco are all included in the registration fee.”
This year was the ninth annual Peak2Peak and, for the first time since they started, they had a new route. We started our adventure at southern tip of Glen Canyon Park. Upon signing-in you received a name tag, peak reward / sticker card, and a turn-by-turn directional trail booklet. Each Peak2Peak hiker was placed in a group that were led by different guides and left at different times. Chris and my group left at 9:10am and was led by Kimberly, Deep and Baozi – their dog.
I had never even heard of Dorothy Erskine Park. It’s a small little park with an okay view, I don’t know if I’d return.
Each group had about a dozen people. When Chris and I first signed up for Peak2Peak, he mocked that I would be miles ahead of everyone else, but that was not the case. There was one woman in her late 60s who completely and utterly kicked my ass up Mt. Davidson, not to mention had sass. She is now my role model.
Forest Hill was the only peak without a park or a view. We walked up a hilly street into a dead end and saw a locked gate to a radio tower – that was pretty much it. Un-impressed we walked onto the next peaks.
We stopped in Golden Gate Park for lunch. They provided sandwiches, salads, and cookies. It was nice to rest for a bit in the shade, but this walk definitely wasn’t as bad as our 60,000 step day – so our calibrations versus the rest of walkers was off.
As many times as I’ve walked through Golden Gate Park, I had never been to Strawberry Hill. Did you know there’s a waterfall up there? With a cute little bridge? I didn’t and will definitely be back.
After Strawberry Hill they offer a short-cut through Golden Gate Park (or just taking a 5-Muni) to the after party at Beach Chalet. Some of the older walkers took it, but not my role model. We were still the troopers leading the pack, taking turns when the other stopped to take photos.
Washington High School’s football field blew my mind. Not only are the facilities top notch, but the field is literally on the edge of a hill so that have an un-obscured view of the Golden Gate Bridge. So pretty!
By the time we got to Sutro Heights we had lost a few of our group members. Chris and I took a few photos, slapped our sticker on our rewards sheet, and headed down the giant hill towards the Ocean. The after party at Beach Chalet was fun and relaxing. They had two tents set up and you got a free beer when you turned in your name tag. This was kind of a conundrum for me because I wanted the free beer AND my name tag. In the end, the beer won out.
Thanks Walk SF for an amazing first Peak2Peak! My Peak2Peak Fitbit totals were 34,323 steps, 13.95 miles, and 188 floors. We will definitely hike it again next year.
My Flickr Set • Chris’s Flickr Set (coming soon!)