It has been either wet, cold, or both, the past few days – at least by local standards – but the forecast has promised a little break for tomorrow, and I intend to go for a roam in the western half of the city (1:30pm at West Portal Muni if you are nearby and available).
I have made a few visits to the area in recent weeks, as I had wondered if it was be possible to combine some of the hills and features we will be exploring with the Mount Davidson roam, before concluding that they were worth a separate adventure. I still get a little turned around though, as the roads curl and loop around the sides of the various high points, the named and numbered streets merging rather than meeting at right angles as they do elsewhere. I have remarked before on how I like this breaking down of the grid, but it has caused me problems as I try to orient myself, and find the Sutro Tower in a different direction to the one I was expecting, or the ocean appearing where I thought the bay would be.
There is something uncity-like in the area, and the blandness of the built environment (excepting a few of the more upscale residences) contrasts with the sudden ruggedness of the angled chert outcroppings and the tall serene trees. On Wednesday there was some rain as I set out, and it felt cold on my hands, especially after I had grabbed a wet railing to navigate a dead end, but there was a beautiful cast to the sea and the sky above it, blue and yellow, grey and pink all around, a clear view of the Farallones one moment, and then at the top of another staircase, seeing across to Candlestick Point and the placid bay the next. For the first time in my half-dozen or so visits, I had the tiled Moraga St steps all to myself, and the colours blazed out in the dull afternoon.
The top of the Moraga Street stairs on another, sunnier, recent visit.