A Forest in San Francisco?
Yes, we have at least two forests. One is on Mount Davidson, not far from where we live. I used to visit it often, and have shared my experience in the Encounters stories a number of times. Actually, it is a 40-acre park with lush vegetation, and many trails, leading to the top where a huge concrete cross is located, which can be seen above tall trees. We’ve gone there a number of times with Max, but for some reason, he does not like it there (perhaps he smells coyotes). However, we recently discovered, almost by chance, another forest, which Max liked that is located “under our noses” so to speak, in the heart of Golden Gate Park.
Our regular destination for walks is at Stow Lake. We also sometimes go to Fort Funston. This where we were planning to go on a Sunday afternoon, only to discover that due to the pandemic, all possible places to park our car were blocked. So we turned around and drive to Golden Gate Park. But instead of turning right from Sunset Boulevard, we turned left and then right. Elfa noticed a trail with a large sign, “Dogs without leashes are allowed”. We parked, and to our great surprise, we ended up in a forest wedged between two roads. After an hour of our total enjoyment, Max was tired and we returned to the car. This first discovery led us to seek other destinations and trails in the park. And there are plenty of them. Recently, on April 4th, the park, which covers over 1000 acres, celebrated its 150th birthday. To avoid large crowds due to the pandemic, the celebration was virtual.
I drive through the park at least three times a week on the way to Max’s dog sitter. In spite of the restrictions, it is full of life and young people. Many wear masks, but all seem to come here to have a good time. Recently, the Botanical Garden reopened its doors. Unfortunately, they do not allow dogs in. A friend of mine told me that some days she makes sandwiches and coffee and goes there to have lunch by herself, just sitting on the bench and reading a book. When was the last time you did that?
P.S. These four images from the forest where we encountered only a few people are self-evident.