Hike #5: (Urban Hike #2): Seward Street Slides

Location: San Francsico (Lower Pac Heights, Castro)

Distance: 6 miles

Entry fee: $0

Molly knew about the Seward Slides and neither of us had been before, so we figured it might be a good urban destination to check out before work one morning.   We rose bright and early this morning (like, really effing early) for this hike.  We met at Molly’s apartment at 5:15 (yes, A.M) and set off down California Street to hit a few local landmarks along the way.

The first landmark was the Atherton House.  This place is apparently haunted by 4 ghosts, one of which is George Atherton, the owner, who died in Chile and whose body was shipped in a barrel of rum back to San Francisco for proper burial.  Gross.

Next we stopped by Cottage Row, a historical row of TREA Victorians designed by William Hollis in the 1860s.  It was pretty cool, there is even a little park in there, but we felt a little weird lurking outside of strangers houses in the dark at 5am taking pictures.  So we quickly moved along to Castro Camera, the shop that Harvey Milk first bought when he arrived in SF which later became his campaign headquarters (today it’s a gift shop.)

Around the corner from Castro Camera a few blocks down is the Alfred E Clarke mansion.  This building enormous and totally schizophrenic, with one side looking like an old victorian, the other like a baroque castle.  (I don’t know anything about architecture, I had to look that up.)  But really, this is a very cool building, worth checking out if you’re in the neighborhood.

From there up a steep hill and down Seward Street to the slides.  We had heard so much about the slide troll and how awful the neighbors were…and there are signs that the park is closed sunrise to sunset (at this point it was about 6:30…so the sun wasn’t quite up) that we were a little paranoid about making too much noise and didn’t even fully enjoy the slide experience, which was a shame.  We’ll have to go back.

So, with the sun rising, we walked along Market back up to Castro.  Molly was hauling.

Hike #5: anticlimactic.  Though it was nice to get a little walk in before work.  Made it home by 7:15, just in time to see Paul off to his first day of work.

Lessons learned: uuhhh…San Francisco has haunted mansions?

Flora and Fauna: no slide troll, which we considered a success.  And we saw a few pugs.

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