Tag Archives: trail

Barbary Coast Trail

My girlfriend and I go hiking a few times a month. We prefer dog friendly trails so we don’t have to leave the pup at home. We live in San Francisco and don’t have a car so our options are mostly limited to hikes in the city and Marin, and there are only some many times you can do Land’s End and Twin Peaks before you get sick of it. So I googled good urban hikes in SF and discovered the Barbary Coast Trail.

The Barbary Coast Trail is a walking tour of some of San Francisco’s most historical sites and famous landmarks. The trail is not a loop. You can start at the old San Francisco Mint if you’re downtown, or you can start at the cable car turnaround at Beach and Hyde if you’re in the Fisherman’s Wharf area. The trail is marked by over a hundred and eighty bronze plaques embedded in the sidewalk. The plaques have arrows to point out the direction you came from and the direction you’re headed to. It becomes a bit of a game to find and step on each plaque. The plaques make it hard to get lost, but every now and then you might stray away from the path and have to resort to Google Maps.

The trail takes you through Union Square, Chinatown, North Beach, Fisherman’s Wharf and past iconic and forgotten San Francisco treasures. The best part about the trail is that it really is an urban hike so you can easily take a break to browse a boutique, stop for a beer in the city’s oldest bar (which is on the tour), or enjoy lunch from an outdoor cafe.

I’ve lived in the city for over ten years and the Barbary Coast Trail is one of the best things I’ve experienced yet. My girlfriend feels the same way. The dog liked it too. It’s a time filling activity that’s both recreational and entertaining, not to mention educational. And it’s free. I have a feeling that I’ll be taking visiting friends and family on the trail for years to come.

Critically Rated at 16/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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Filed under Entertainment

Backpacking Food

Backpacking food is food that you take backpacking. I realize that you can take lots of food backpacking, so this post is focusing primarily on freeze dried food in a sealed bag that you add boiling water to in order to cook it. It’s kind of like a cup of noodles on steroids. There are quite a few different brands to chose from, but it seems like I always end up getting Mountain House or Backpacker’s Pantry. Both offer a wide variety of meals that provide you with a shit ton of caleries to get your energy back after a day on the trail. There are staple dishes like beef stroganoff, bacon and eggs, chicken and rice, etc. but they also have more exotic meals now too. I had beef pho and huevos rancheros on my last backpacking trip. Whatever brand or meal you chose, it’s a great way to reward yourself after lugging a heavy bag on your back for twelve miles. It’s even better with a couple swigs of whiskey.

Critically Rated at 13/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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Filed under Snacks

Walking Stick

I went on a nine-mile hike with some friends the other day. The trail was relatively easy for the most part, but there were a few difficult parts and it rained the night before so there was a lot of mud. The situation called for a walking stick and nature was happy to provide me with one. I found one on the side of the trail. A walking stick is what it sounds like. It’s a stick for walking. Canes are for old people and the disabled. Walking sticks are for hikers and wizards.

Walking sticks can be used in a variety of ways. They make steep hills easier to climb or descend. They can clear the trail of bushes, debris, spider webs, and tree branches that are blocking the way. They offer a balancing point for crossing small streams or large puddles. They have traction in slippery conditions. And you can use them to fend off attacking animals or disgruntled hikers.

Some people buy walking sticks. That’s good if you go hiking a lot and want other people to know how awesomely outdoorsy you are. I prefer finding a walking stick somewhere along the trail and leaving it on the trailhead for future hikers to enjoy. It seems more neighborly. Walking through nature is fun. It’s better with a giant stick.

Critically Rated at 13/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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Filed under Random Rants

Hiking

If you like walking and nature then you might be interested in hiking. Hiking is glorified walking. It’s off-road, it’s extreme, it’s still just walking. But instead of walking on concrete you’re walking on a path or trail and every now and then you stop to look at trees. You might even take a picture of those trees to post on Facebook to prove to everyone else that you went hiking and that they are lazy and you aren’t. Not only is it great exercise, it’s also the only way to eat trail mix without being a hypocrite.

Critically Rated at 13/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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Filed under Random Rants