Monday, August 30, 2010

The hills are alive, with the sound of OMG WTF?


All righty...the Walk will be in San Francisco and San Francisco has hills. Lots and lots of hills. It's almost like some sadist sat down in city planning over a hundred years ago, rubbed his hands together while cackling, and declared this would be the most painful city ever to walk around in. But, since it has the hills we'll all be facing in October, those are the hills I want to train a bit on.

So, in the interest of a half fun day of taking in the city, and a half OMG-WTF! day of walking hills, we drove to Concord, hopped on the BART train, and went into San Francisco.

Powell Street near Market Street
The picture doesn't show what I hoped it would, which was the sheer I'm gonna walk THAT? feeling I had when I looked past the cable car.

We'd already walked about a half mile up Market Street when we decided we were going the wrong way; we turned around, got our bearings, and turned up Powell Street...and all I saw was the road creeping up toward the sky.

But we pressed onward, and walked. We climbed three city blocks and then stopped to try to help some kid dragging his suitcases, who wondered where his hotel was (all hail the iPhone and Google Maps...), decided to turn and walk a block to the right so give my knees some time on flatness, and then headed back up a little bit of a hill.

Yours truly, near Ghiradelli Square
We wound up wandering through Chinatown (I think...it was certainly all Asian and the shops were Asian and 90% of the shoppers were Asian, and I couldn't even read price signs...and there was the Chinese Hospital, which I take as a clue) took a street that angled off where we were, and ended up at Ghiradelli Square.

Laugh if ya want, but I've never been there and just wanted to see it.

I get bonus points for resisting the lure of the chocolate.

After that we walked along the Wharf, down to Pier 39, and then wandered back down Powell Street in search of the start of the cable car line.

Maybe not thrilling, but at least I got to ride one!
Yes, we could have walked back; it's only about 3 miles from that point, but I've never been on a cable car, and if you're going to be all touristy in SF, you take the freaking cable car.

It was not the thrill I'd hoped for.


We headed into the Westfield Mall to scope it out; it's touted as being really big, and it is in square feet terms, but not so much in quality shopping. That was fine, since we were there to walk and not really shop, though we did look for a sweatshirt for me since I was getting cold. I settled for a black track jacket, and am oddly happier with it than I would have been a sweatshirt.

We also walked up and down Market Street, until it was late enough that we knew we should head back. All in all we walked for a good 5 hours, less the time we sat down to have a quick lunch. And it was quick, I'm guessing 20 minutes from the time we sat down until we were back wandering around.

I suspect we'll do it again next week, although without going all the way to the Wharf; I may just do hills around Union Square, and let the Spouse Thingy chill out at the Square. He admitted that at the end he was ready to stop walking...I honestly could have kept going, and wanted to, but realized I couldn't because of the time.

It definitely beat walking the Dixon flat flat flat sidewalks.


dkm3day said...

I work like two blocks from Chinatown. Next time give me a ring and maybe I can meet you for lunch or at least a chai! I'm at California and Kerny

The Furry Bambinos said...

Yay for you walking the hills! Living in the flat flat flat Cleveland area, but having grown up in Pittsburgh, I miss the hills.

And I should add that you are looking very fit!

Mom Sue to The Furry Bambinos

The Furry Bambinos said...

P.S. In Pittsburgh, we called those things "trolleys". (Think Mr. Rogers.)

Mom Sue

Roberta said...

Just to let you know ... the hills weren't that bad! We would walk up a steep block then take a turn to walk flat ... never that horrible. (Although we did stop when it got to be too much! Hey ... we're human, yes?)
You're doing sooo great! Just over a month to go!

Thumper said...

DKM, that would be awesome! I think we're going to head that way again next Tuesday or Wednesday...I'll pin the Spouse Thingy down about the day soon. If we can figure the ferry out, we might even try coming in on that, but if not, we can get off BART at the Montgomery station and walk.

Roberta...that makes me very happy. I can do one of those hills at a time. But I was sucking wind and say words on the Bad Werd List after the third block in a row...I can adjust my training accordingly, and only say moderately impolite words. And the Spouse Thingy might be willing to walk farther...he hit his limit yesterday and the hills didn't help him any...

But yeah, walking there was SO much more fun than around home. I think I love SF, as long as I don't have to drive in it!