Friday, October 5

At around 10:30AM on Friday I drove over to McCallister and Van Ness, parked and walked down to AAA to get some maps.

It had been a few years since I had driven in the City. If you stay off the main clogged arteries like Broadway, Van Ness, Fillmore, etc - you can get around fairly easily by car. Parking is another story...

Click on these photos for a higher resolution.
They will be slow to load with a dial-up connection.

When I got up to Van Ness I spotted this cool looking truck. That camper top is a work of art!

I wish now I had shot some detail pics of this unique vehicle.

Right across the street was the San Francisco Unified School District Building. Surprisingly, a web search turned up no info about this structure.


Just down the street is the Opera House. It was here, in 1969 I went to see a free concert. The players? The San Francisco Symphony and the Siegel-Schwall Blues Band conducted by Seiji Ozawa.

San Francisco Symphony
From a Book by David Schneider

"The Corky Siegel Band played with us (David Schneider was a veteran member of the San Francisco Symphony) 'Three Pieces for Blues Band and Symphony Orchestra,' by William Russo. Certainly a dramatic departure from Beethoven, Brahms, and Mahler syndrome of Krips. There on stage at the ornate and sedate opera house was the funkiest, most laid back group of performers that the city's symphony going public had ever laid eyes or ears on. Corky Siegel played the harmonica with immense and peculiar virtuosity.

The music was just what it's name implied; a combination of the square symphony sound with the wild blues band sound. The piece would get us back into the recording business as we were to immortalize this work on Deutsche Grammophon. In fact, one movement of the piece became a successful 'single' scoring high on the charts."



"Probably the stately old opera house will never recover, nor any of the little old ladies. The audience exploded into applause after each movement forcing the musicians to take bows. As the last note ended the entire opera house was on it's feet in one of the most thundering outpours in the opera house in my memory. For almost 10 minutes the crowd cried for more."

Source: Corky Siegel's History and Tall Tales - The Symphonic Blues

Had it not been for my mom's love of Classical music and the encouragement of "Babs" Gibbs, I probably would not have attended this ground breaking concert.

I got my maps and drove down McCallister to Masonic then picked up Geary to Presidio Boulevard which is also SR1. This goes to the GG Bridge and onto Marin County where I would next search for victuals and some groovy hiking.

Can't hike on an empty stomach right? Thanks to Petra I knew just where to go for lunch - The Pelican Inn. And thanks to Jon, I knew just what to get Bangers and Mash($10.00).

I knew I would need something to wash it all down with so I ordered and imperial pint (22oz) of Fuller's London Pride Ale ($5.25). Tasty.


A look at the back-side the Pelican Inn.

The front of the Pelican Inn. I have no inside shots but I think the idea was to reproduce the look and feel of an English Pub.

About a 1/4 mile down the road from the Inn is Muir Beach - both a town and Beach. This shows the boardwalk which leads to the beach area from the parking lot.


Muir Beach, looking North as seen from the south hillside.

Google Earth image of Muir Beach. Must have been a warm day when this was flown. When I was there the parking lot was just about empty.

Not clearly shown in this low res image is Sutro Tower in San Fran far center of the photo.

Mighty inviting looking!

From the Beach to the Woods in just a few minutes. Gotta love it. Thanks to Laura I decided to make a trip here.

The place was packed and I was lucky to find a parking spot. I can't image what this place must be like on a busy holiday weekend.

The center marker on this cross section says 909 A.D.

Check out the photos on this site. There are lots of good ones, but they are all high resolution and slow to load. But, they are worth waiting for.

This is a poor shot of some species of Equisetum or Horsetail.

Equisetum is a genus of vascular plants that reproduce by spores rather than seeds. The genus includes 15 species commonly known as horse tails and scouring rushes. These compose the entire class Equisetopsida, the sole member of the division Equisetophyta (Arthrophyta in older works), though some recent molecular analyses place the genus within the ferns (Pteridophyta), related to Marattiales. Other classes and orders of Equisetopsida are known from the fossil record, where they were important members of the world flora during the Carboniferous period.

Source: WikiPedia

A fallen Redwood showing the numerous epicormic sprouts.

After about 3 miles of steady climbing the trail reaches the top of the hill and continued for about 1/2 mile before it started back down hill on a paved fire road which went the Alice Eastwood Group Camp which is actually in Mt. Tamalpais State Park. At this point I picked up Fern Creek Trail for the downhill hike to the valley floor and back to Muir Woods.

Detail of Redwood Bark.

This scene took me way back. In the mid 60's I and my girlfriend Susy decided to go camping for the weekend. In those days we thought nothing of planning a trip, getting our gear together and sticking out our thumbs to hitch a ride.

So, off to Armstrong Redwoods we went, Susy and I. We got dropped off at the entrance to the park and when we got close to the campground we saw thousands of these convergent ladybugs completely covering the post and rail fence along the roadway. I have thought about that siting many times over the years.

I am not sure what Susy and I were thinking. We had one sleeping bag, no tent, no water and no food. But, we had - each other! We just layed out the sleeping bag on the ground, threw off our clothes and hopped in. Very cozy! But, when we awoke the next morning we found ourselves next to a family with small children having a pancake breakfast. It was a bit embarrassing for the both of to have to crawl out of the bag, buck nekkid and get our clothes on with out drawing attention to ourselves. Latter, we ended up having breakfast with the family. Those were the days...

Each year millions of convergent lady bugs (Hippodamia convergens) congregate in Muir Woods National Monument, covering whole trees as they aestivate. They spend about 9 months of the year at Muir Woods, but they are only likely to be seen in from June through October. During these months they may be seen resting in large clusters, or, warmer days, they may be seen flying around in swarms by the thousands.

Source: Muir Woods at

Lots of great photo ops.

A park ranger explains some of the natural history and ecology to these visitors.

From the Beach to the Woods and back to the Beach again. After my wonderful 6 mile hike I decided to take a spin up Highway 1 towards Stinson Beach.


It was at Stinson Beach, during the Summer of '69, we somehow ended up for the day. I can still remember walking from the parking area down the path to the Beach and hearing very faint music being tossed about on the breeze. As we got closer to the beach the music became louder and more distinct, then familiar. When we got to the beach proper we saw the source of the music. A small bandstand was off to one side and on it were four guys bringing forth the sweet refrain of "Susy Q". Yep, there was Creedence Clearwater Revival - in the flesh, giving a free concert at the beach.

This type of thing was common during the 60s in San Fran. It was a routine event to go to Golden Gate Park and find out Crosby, Still, Nash and Young or some other band were playing on Hippie Hill. Country Joe and The Fish, Jefferson Airplane - they were just local bands and could been seen hanging out on the front porches of their Haight Ashbury houses jammin'.

Now, free concerts have turned into $75 admission charges and the bands have body guards and security when they play.

Creedence Clearwater Revival (commonly referred to by its initials CCR or simply as Creedence) was a southern rock American rock band, which consisted of John Fogerty (vocals, guitar, harmonica, piano), Tom Fogerty (guitar, vocals, piano), Stu Cook (bass guitar, vocals), and Doug Clifford (drums, percussion, vocals). Though hailing from the Bay Area of California, the group was influenced by the swamp blues genre that came out of south Louisiana in the late 1950s and early to mid-1960s.

CCR cultivated a Louisiana connection through its choice of song and album titles, such as "Born on the Bayou," Bayou Country, and Mardi Gras, as well as through the southern "good ol' boy" image projected by its members. Several of their songs also protest against the Vietnam War, such as "Who'll Stop the Rain", "Wrote a Song for Everyone","Run Through the Jungle", and most notably "Fortunate Son".

Source: Wikipedia

More beautiful views fo the central California coastline.

If you look at the high res photo you can see Sutro Tower just right of center.

This shot of Muir Beach was taken just a little to North.

These batteries were at the Muir Beach overlook.

This gives a good idea how rocky the coastline is in some areas.

Perched precariously on steep hillsides, Highway 1 has slipped many times over the years. This is a look at one of the new sections of roadway which replaced an unstable section.

Back to reality! Friday eveing traffic backed up across the Golden Gate Bridge.

The Golden Gate Bridge is a suspension bridge spanning the Golden Gate, the opening into the San Francisco Bay from the Pacific Ocean. It connects the city of San Francisco on the northern tip of the San Francisco Peninsula to Marin County as part of US Highway 101 and California State Highway 1.

The Golden Gate Bridge was the largest suspension bridge in the world when it was completed in 1937 and has become an internationally recognized symbol of San Francisco and the United States. It is currently the second longest suspension bridge by span in the United States after the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge in New York City.

Source: WikiPedia

Day 16 - FINIS