Today D. and I explored the Bernal Heights neighborhood in San Francisco.
Bernal Heights is rich with hidden staircases and hilly streets that snake around to reveal unexpected views, shady gardens and pocket parks. We began with a soy ice cream/espresso treat at Maggie Mudd's, which was very refreshing. Next we enjoyed Holly Park and the 360º views of the city from its paths. The view of Bernal Hill itself enticed us to explore it next.
We had to park at the base of the hill and walk past the locked gate up the winding road toward the summit. There were many benches at the roadside along the way up, each one offering amazing views of the cityscape. The views from the summit were even nicer. A couple of years ago there were credible sightings of a coyote on Bernal Hill for a while, but there's been no reports of it recently.
While we didn't see the coyote, we did see a red-tailed hawk circling all around the hillside, diligently prowling for some lunch. We also witnessed a Native American ceremony being conducted near the summit. I hope the drumming, chanting and ceremonial fire today sent some cleansing good vibes out to all corners of the city.
Instead of walking all the way back down the winding road, D. suggested we take one of the very steep unofficial dirt paths carved into the hillside by scores of prior pairs of impatient (or thrill-seeking) feet. In spite of my osteoporosis and wobbly sense of balance (not a good combination when faced with scrambling down a steep hillside), I agreed, being an impatient Type A at heart. And despite the loose gravel and dirt underfoot in the steepest places, we made it back down to the parking lot in one piece. D. kept on saying "I'm here to catch you if you fall," and I kept on saying, "No, if I fall I'll just knock both of us down the hill." But fortunately it didn't come to that today.
Then we had a late lunch at a crepe place in nearby Noe Valley. Then off to Rainbow Grocery, my favorite natural food store, to get veggies to sauté for dinner. While we were out and about I forgot to get a candle to put in D.'s birthday orange-carob vegan brownie for dessert; I wonder if soaking it in brandy and flambéeing it instead will do?