To the West of Golden Gate Bridge is a fantastic Beach called Baker Beach, the place I am staying is on 16th Avenue which runs all the way to the Presideo park one way and all the way to the Golden Gate park the other, Baker beach lies below the Presideo which runs from the top of the hill to the beach. I wanted to take a walk to the beach with my camera and Finbarr told me the best way to go, which was through the forest of Pines, cypresses and Eucalyptus trees down the meandering path to the western end of the beach. The weather wasn’t very good, with an overcast sky and sporadic drizzle but I love beaches in bad weather, they tend to be less crowded.
I set off with my picnic lunch and it was a lovely walk with many different species of flower along the way, many I have not seen before. On the beach I found the most artistic looking driftwood on which to sit, this must be the best beach I have ever been to for driftwood, there was lots of it, definitely worth collecting for craft projects. There was stacks built up in some areas and different shaped logs on which to sit, I found a lovely spot and got comfortable, took my camera out to capture the waves crashing on the shore, the little children splashing in the waves, happy couples walking along, people with their dogs and lots of seagulls, plenty of photograph material, but first I asked a lady with her children to take a picture of me on my huge piece of driftwood, as soon as I handed her the camera, the batteries died so my thoughts of spending the afternoon taking photos was spoiled by my not checking the camera before I left the house. Luckily I still had my iphone camera.
I sat for a while eating my picnic and watching everyone else on the beach have fun, there weren’t many people, a mother with her two children, a young couple, hand in hand, further along the beach toward the Golden Gate Bridge I could see more people walking with their dogs or children. At times like this I like to do my Mindfulness, I try to absorb the moment by smelling the sea air, listening to the birds call and the children laughing, watching the birds soar above the waves and hover in the wind, feeling the sand and sea beneath my feet, all while tasting my wine I had brought on the picnic. I very often think of my children and how they would have loved to be here when they were young, playing in the sand and running on the beach. Everywhere I go I am reminded of my children, by seeing other children, often wishing I had that time again.
I absorbed everything I could about this moment and it will remain in my memory forever, while I sat there watching the waves crash on the beach I was reminded that the same thing happens on the beach at home, the same sounds, sights etc., but when I look to my right there is the Golden Gate bridge standing tall, dominating the skyline, such an iconic piece of San Francisco. So even though I could just as well be at home, I’m not, I’m in Fantastic San Francisco.
I remembered today that my favourite band, “Journey” is from San Francisco and the song called “Lights” is about the city. I had it on my iTunes along with an eclectic mix of Motown artists such as Diana Ross and Marvin Gaye, English singer Paloma Faith and Caro Emerald and also Barbara Streisand. The beach was so quiet I could sing along while I listened to my iPod. It was lovely there, so peaceful.
After listening to quite a few songs watching the waves and the birds I wanted to walk towards the Golden Gate bridge to take some pictures of the bridge from near the rocks, I made my way over along the shore dodging the waves washing up on the shore, as I approached the far end I could see a man in the corner with what looked like no clothes on, I looked away as I didn’t want to stare, but he got up and started approaching me and by this time there were a couple of other people who had obviously seen him because they looked at me and we laughed. The naked man made his way to the sea and walked back again right in front of us, it was obvious he wanted someone to take his picture, so I obliged, lol, I tried not to let him see, but he turned as I took the photo and I got the full frontal! It turns out, when I got back, I mentioned this and apparently this part of the beach is known as a nudist beach, so wish I had known before I went there! Lol
After this incident I quickly turned back and started my climb back up through the forest to the top of the cliff to start my walk back home, there were more lovely views which I stopped to take photos of! The trees are magnificent and very many of them have been uprooted in the storms, also over the years the barks have become twisted and gnarled and as many people who know me, know I love trees, in any shape or form but the more artistic the better, so these trees just fitted perfectly with my idea of lush trees! That being, they have obviously been around for many years, they have grown despite the elements and their shape is very often determined by the way the wind blows.
The Presideo in San Francisco was a military base established by the Spanish from 1812 until 1997. At the top of the cliff there are stone fortification gun installations, built during the war called Battery Chamberlin’s, which are closed off but still visible today on the walk to Marshall Beach! When the Presideo was decommissioned as an army base by the US army it became part of the “Golden Gate National Recreation Area”.