Took a stroll through the eucalyptus and pine scrub of the Presidio after work today.

Chancing upon a patch of sun-ripened, summer sweet blackberries is more than enough reward for the quick pace up the hill. The patch has been picked over in spots easy to reach from the trail. I’m not the only one who can’t resist berries right off the vine.

But if you know where to look behind the branches and under the leaves, there are ripe, juicy berries waiting still.

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wood-pattern

Check out the great artwork bark beetles did in this fallen log!

Stay tuned, and we’ll tell you all about our great hike down the Peninsula with the Woodswoman.

From TheCityGirlsGoHiking attic of posts that never quite made it out into the world; on this bright, sunny spring day, we bring you a lovely rumination on the joys and perils of picking apples in the rain.

Oh, the best-laid plans. The best-laid plans that go awry when the sky opens up and starts dumping ridiculous amounts of rain all along the coast. The best-laid plans for a wander down the coast to a tiny little apple orchard with an outsize number of varietals in neat little rows.

What do you do when the forecast calls for rain on the day you’d set aside for apple picking? Why, you go anyway.

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Sometimes, on a sunny early spring day, when life has been crazy and stressful, you just need to sit. and soak up the sun. and feel the grass under your fingers. and breathe the salt air as the ocean tumbles its way past the Golden Gate and into the Bay.

Sometimes it’s worth a drive across the city for the smell of Eucalyptus trees as they rustle in the wind.

To sit beneath steel girders reaching out and up and through, slicing the blue, blue sky into manageable triangles, parallelograms, and polygons less easily described.

Where the knowing, confined mind sees “art” and either admires or dismisses: what value can we find in jumbled steel? But the young, not bound into these rigid expectations, look, and wonder, and conclude: a giant structure on which to play.

diSuvero

And who doesn’t yearn to climb these beams? Is that not the power of their artistry? Not a simulation of motion, but an invitation to engage, to move, to climb, to soar.

While the young ones dash and tumble, we are content to sit, with red-painted steel a presence above and behind us, looking towards another, grander monolith of red-painted steel and the tossing, foam-tipped chasm it traverses.

The sun is bright, but the wind is biting. We huddle down into sweaters suddenly inadequate for the deceptive, mercurial breeze.

If we were children running and shouting in the long grass, we would not feel the cold. If we were birds leaping from trees along the water’s edge, we would welcome the gusts and swells of the wind.

But we are earth-bound, sedentary, confined on this day. And the brightness of the sky, the power of the water, the damp succor of the grass—it anchors us as the wind swoops and dives, but it does not keep us warm.

Mark di Suvero exhibition at Crissy Field, part of SFMOMA On the Go

The hiking book: Hiking the San Francisco Bay Area
The distance: 9 miles
The CityGirls rating: 9

Our good friend TheSailor came to visit just after the new year and wanted a hike to the ocean that wasn’t too hilly. We didn’t have to think too far back for just the right trail, so off we went to Point Reyes to revisit the Bear Valley trail and Arch Rock.

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We don’t really get winter weather around here.

As much as Bay Area natives may complain about the cold, dreary winters, they’re full of sh$t and don’t know what they’re talking about.

With no snow and temperatures that stay in the very reasonable 50s, sometimes it’s tough to feel the festive holiday spirit.

But San Franciscans are resourceful! If there’s no snow to create a snowman, well, we’ll make our snowmen out of something else.

Case in point: Veggie Snowman
Spotted following the farmers’ market near T-Bell’s office.

veggie-snowman

Happy holidays from the CityGirls. Wishing you a joyous and hike-filled new year!

 

The hiking book: Hiking the San Francisco Bay Area
The distance: 9 miles
The CityGirls rating: 8

The ocean was calling to us last month.

20131123_Point-Reyes_sun-and-sea

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We did our favorite walking tour of the city with our friend Signorina when she came to visit with her boy.

bridge-view

At the Ferry Building Farmer’s Market, we sampled some pork deliciousness in the form of Chicharrones, 4505 Meats’ light-as-air, salty and sweet “pig candy.”

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On a visit to the midwest, AM spent a food- and fun-filled day at the Great Minnesota Get-Together, aka the Minnesota State Fair.

the-crowd

Now, depending on who you ask, the fair holds different highlights for different people. But everyone can agree that one of the main reasons to go is the fair food. This is, after all, the (perhaps contested) birthplace of everything fried on a stick that you’ve ever imagined, plus a whole slew of things you never imagined could be battered, cooked up in hot oil, and eaten on a stick.

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Our friend S was dog-sitting for the weekend, and we joined her and her two charges for a romp at Fort Funston.

beach

The dogs were ever so excited to go to the beach. They practically bowled us over when we showed up at their house and would not sit still the whole car ride to Fort Funston. In fact, when we hit the coast and turned on to the Great Highway, both dogs started whining like the whole world was on fire. But no, they were just that excited.

down-to-the-beach

Fort Funston, for those who haven’t been, is THE doggy beach in San Francisco and it was teeming with pups on this sunny holiday. There were dogs chasing balls on the bluffs, dogs slurping water from the numerous doggy bowls that surrounded each water fountain, dogs sniffing each others’ butts… it was quite the canine social scene.

We made our way down onto the beach itself, and the two puppers could no longer contain themselves they were so excited. The little pup insisted we throw the ball for her, while the larger pup beelined for the water.

pupper-on-the-move

We picked up a couple doggy friends along the way, including a corgi who was just as excited to play fetch as the little pup. The larger pup, who isn’t really that large, decided he only wanted to hang with the big dogs (even though they were twice his size).

good-dog

After all the fun and games, we took home two tired pups.

One was completely sand-logged from running into the waves and then rolling around in the sand and both were oh so happy and exhausted.

 

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