Expedition 24: Crosstown Trail, Section 5

January 17, 2024. I planned to continue walking north from where I left off in November, but section 2 goes through Glen Park and Laguna Honda which I figured would be pretty muddy after all the rain. I decided to walk south so I could dip into section 4 if I felt like continuing. 

I took the trusty 38 Geary bus to the end of the line. The Crosstown Trail starts (or ends) at the Lands End Lookout Visitor Center. But the bus let me off at the entrance to the old Sutro Heights Park, so I made a detour. This is one of the original stone lions that guarded the park when it opened in 1885. The cute little gazebo didn’t have a plaque (!!) but it provided a place for me to pose.

Another lion now guards the visitor center. In the parking lot I spotted this cool 3D map of the area. I made another detour down Point Lobos Avenue to visit the Giant Camera, which I read was open again. Alas, it was closed. So glad it’s still there! Hope it’s open next time I visit. This camera obscura provides a moody, out-of-time view of the sky and surf. 

On the way back up I looked down on the Sutro Baths ruins below. In addition to building the park and the baths, Adolph Sutro built his own steam train line which ran along this cliff, giving passengers dramatic views for 5 cents.

I also peeked into the old Louis’ Restaurant, which closed in August 2020 after more than 80 years in business! Killed off by the pandemic. The Park Service is looking for a new host for it. I hope they keep the retro interior. 

At Mile Rock Overlook I found this map of known shipwrecks. I followed the slightly muddy Coastal Trail east, passing this hunk of stone with Butler carved into it. What could it be from? Gravestone? I walked through part of the Seacliff neighborhood, past $10 and $19 million (and all in between prices) mansions. In between them I could hear the surf crashing below. 

I skirted the edge of Baker Beach and crossed Lincoln to find the Lobos Creek Valley Trail, part of which is this nice boardwalk. But it was getting dark and colder so I ended up not completing section 5 but I will on a future expedition. 

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