Sunday, January 5, 2014

Lands End hiking

Where the land ends and shakes hand with the ocean that was the Land Ends hiking. Just few minutes from the heart of the busy city of San Francisco, to take a deep breath of fresh air, to meet the blue Pacific, to forget nitty-gritty of daily life, just to open your heart and let yourself to be lost in the serenity of the nature you can there anytime. The trail is not at all dangerous, not heard to cover. Standing at a height, staring at the sea I felt like a heavenly feeling.


Anyway, for a long time we were thinking to go hiking somewhere. Due to some other engagement we couldn’t make it. However, this weekend both of us were determined to go somewhere. I had to find out some kid-friendly trail, because of my little son. After researching on the Internet I thought that the Sutro hiking would be great for us, but I didn’t bother to find the location of the trail. All I found that it was in Bay area, and near San Francisco. I told my hubby about the trail. He searched in the Google map to find out the route. Even after seeing the map, he also didn’t tell me that the trail was far from our home. Reaching the trail was not easy. It took more than an hour to reach there. Getting down at Montgomery from BART we took bus to reach there. I thought it would be not far from the station, but it was far from there, actually it was where San Francisco was ending and meeting the Pacific Ocean.  What a view!!! All of a sudden the cityscape had finished and the vast ocean opened up itself with it beauty. The area was known as Sutro district. 


The weather was charming. It was not at all hot, rather I would say, it was little bit cool, the usual weather of San Francisco. I thought our bus journey would be short, but it was more longer time than I expected. The bus slowly left the city, and stopped at the end of the cityscape and  met the ocean. What a scenic beauty not far away from the cityscape. The cypress trees welcomed us to the Sutro district. We saw a ruin just before the starting of hiking. We didn’t give much attention there. All we knew that, we had to finish the entire route. Though the distance was not much or the difficulty level of the route was easy, our challenge was to walk with my son. I was afraid that, in the middle he might just deny to walk, and then it was going to be a nightmare to us. It was a next to impossible job to carry a four and half year old child. 

Golden Gate bridge


Anyway the weather was very nice, it was not cool but little bit cloudy, which made us easy to walk. We crossed the Sutro ruins, only to go there while coming back. We started walking, keeping the Cypress trees on our right and the Pacific on our left. First we went to see the USS San Francisco ruins. First I couldn’t figure out the ship first. Then from the plaque I found that, it was only a part the remaining ship which caught fire, after serving several years during the Second World War. The small part was taken to Land ends and was mounted there. Anyway, there was nothing much to see, so we again started walking toward the Eagle point. Still then the route was quite simple. I can call that narrow dirt road.  


We reached the point “Ship Wreck”. I could only see a submerged must of a Ship there. I wanted to know the history. Actually, I thought that might be the area pointed a particular ship which we was capsized there due to storm. So after coming home, I did a little research to find out about the ship. There we found that, the area didn’t point a particular ship, rather the area pointed that many ships were capsized there due to dense fog, rough weather, dangerous rocks just below the water level, and the narrow entrance to the San Francisco bay. According to history, the area claimed more than 300 ships. The costliest and horrifying wreck was the, the wreck of SS City of Rio de Janerio. For several years after the bodies were washed up on the shore. The Mile rock Light, the light house was built to stop future disaster. The currently visible ship wrecks were: the Ohioan, Lyman Stewart, and Frank Buck.

Ship Wreck


The Golden Gate Bridge was always in our sight. There was no trace of slight fog on that day, so we could clearly see the bridge. As many times I went to see this very bridge, every time, no matter what was the weather, except only one time, when we took my parents to San Francisco. On that the fog was so dense that, it gave doubt about the existence of the bridge.

Anyway, then the real hiking path started. Suddenly we found that we needed to climb more that 100 steps to cross to reach some where I didn’t know. We didn’t even know where the Eagle point was. I asked my hubby dear whether he liked to go or not. Actually my son and I were fine, but he was looking little bit exhausted. Anyway he was ready to go. So we started walking. It was really exhaustive. Once I thought that that much steps were enough, and after that we would reach the eagle point. As soon as we climbed up, again we climbed down. But that was not enough, again we had to climbed up more steps, then we climbed down a narrow dusty moderately sharp inclined walk way. After that, walking was easy, and we reached the Eagle point. From eagle point we could see the city again. Then it was time to going back.  

The last point


There were many options to go down to the ocean, but again we had to climb up. So, my hubby denied to that. Then we headed toward Sutro Bath and the cave. The natural cave was so amazing, it was really hard to describe. I would rather say that was very low natural covered bridge where at the end we could see the ocean, standing on the big rock. That place was very slipper, because water used to cover the place during high tide. Then it was time to go back after visit the Sutro bath ruins. All that remains of the site are concrete walls, blocked off stairs and passageways, and a tunnel with a deep crevice in the middle.

Just a brief history of Sutro bath
Sutro bath was the largest indoor swimming pool, when it was opned in the year 1896, which was built by a wealthy entrepreneur of San Francisco, Adolph Sutro. A visitor could choose to swim not only available seven types of swimming pool of varying temperature and of fresh water.

There Sutro also maintained an extensive collection of stuffed and mounted animals, historic artifacts, and artwork. The baths were once serviced by a rail line, the Ferries and Cliff House Railroad, which ran along the cliffs of Lands End .The baths, struggled for years, mostly due to the very high operating and maintenance costs. It was destroyed by a fire in 1966, when it was already abandoned and on the process of demolishing. 

Remainings of Sutro bath


Anyway, my hubby decided to walk on the remaining walls of the bath to reach on the other end. Though it was not at all hard, but I felt little vertigo while walking on the walls. I think I’m developing vertigo, like my father. To reach the car parking we needed to go back on walls just like we came to the other end. However, my hubby wanted to climb up the rock to reach Cliff house, which was a restaurant, originally built in the year 1958.

Anyway, first I thought that climbing would hard, because all the rocks were round. There was major chance to slip the steps and fell of the rock. Though it was not dangerous, but falling from there could end up in the hospital with broken bones. Anyway, we successfully climbed up and reach the Cliff House, which was a restaurant. We were extremely hungry then. After sitting some time, we decided to go back to Montgomery and had something at California Pizza kitchen. A day well spent.  


1 comment:

Rajesh said...

Beautiful shots of interesting place.

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