4.2 Miles in Golden Gate Park (East)

Hey, lookey here! I was back in San Francisco for a weekend and squeezed in a Golden Gate Park walk to knock out a few more miles. I'm now up to 604.6 miles walked.  Holla.

 We (my husband and I, our two toddlers and my husband's parents) were in town for my husband's MFA graduation from the Academy of Art.  I talked them all into walking with me through the park.  Of course, anyone who has been to the Stanyan entrance of GGP knows there are some unsavory characters and le poop to watch out for.  But once into the park the paths are scenic and relatively safe.

  The greatest danger inside the park during broad daylight is probably getting run over by cars or attacked by coyotes. We put our youngest daughter on coyote watch.  She didn't blink for two hours.

Here's me in front of the Conservatory of Flowers wearing my Walk San Francisco shirt that only seems appropriate to wear when I am actually walking in San Francisco, and so this shirt is once again making its mandatory appearance on this trip.  If you also like walking in San Francisco, I recommend checking out Walk San Francisco, a fantastic pedestrian advocacy organization, to see what they are up to and how you can get involved to make San Francisco safe for EVERYONE to walk.

This particular course takes you past a high concentration of awesomeness.  Besides the Conservatory of Flowers, you walk past the California Academy of Sciences , de Young Museum of Fine Art, and the Japanese Tea Garden, all worthy of day visits each.  

NOTE: The de Young makes for a great pit stop because the public restrooms are right inside the front door and they have a great selection of healthy snacks, drinks and coffees in the museum cafe.

In the center of all these museums is the Spreckels Temple of Music, a large open space with an outdoor stage built in 1900.  The day we walked past, there was a regional yo-yoing competition in full swing.  While I can't help but chortle at the nerdiness of the sport, I do recognize that it requires a ton of hand and eye coordination that I severely lack.

Stow Lake is a complete gem in the middle of Golden Gate Park.  My husband and I left the grandparents and kids back at the science museum so we could do the loop around the lake at our own pace. We could have sat all day like retirees watching the ducks, geese and turtles relaxing near Huntington Falls. 

Here's an accidentally good selfie of my husband and me by the lake.

Next to the Cal Academy is quiet little Shakespeare Garden where I snapped a pic of my in-laws.  If I had the kind of time to read books in gardens, I would come here to read books in this garden.  It's so charming, it almost moves me to read a Jane Austen book.*

Between the Cal Academy and the Kezar Stadium is a HUGE dog-friendly recreation area with baseball diamonds, soccer fields, a children's playground and wide open grass areas for community events like this yoga fundraiser for Nepal earthquake victims that we crashed.

Overall, this course is awesome.  It's scenic on relatively flat terrain.  HOWEVER, there are sections around Stow Lake, crossing Nancy Pelosi Dr. and along Kezar Dr. where the sidewalks stop or have impediments like light posts directly in the middle of the path.  This isn't a huge deal with able-bodied adults on foot, but it does pose challenges if you are pushing a stroller or riding in a wheelchair.

*Not a chance. I find Jane Austen books insanely boring.  Give me Kurt Vonnegut or David Sedaris any day.


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