Cooking, Travel and just Other Stuff

You have to understand. I come from a line of very crafty people. My sister paints, one niece can knit anything out of a ball of yarn...oh and she paints and wood carves and makes jewelery. The other niece designs things and then sews them and then my great niece...well we will just call her insanely crafty. They all have blogs where they show all of their wonderful things they do. So, that brings me here. I decided I wanted a blog too, but what to write about. I'm not insanely crafty, can't paint, don't wood carve, tried knitting-didn't work....hummm, what do I do? Well, I like to cook and travel and eat, so I thought maybe we can start there. My blog will be about recipes I've made, places I go and restaurants I eat at with a few other things thrown in along the way. I've also heard that writing is good for you brain, so I figure-as I'm getting older now-this could be a good thing. So anyway, if you find my rantings worth commenting over, I'd love to hear from you. If I post a recipe you like, please let me know, other wise you can keep your opinions to yourself. This, after all, is my blog to make myself feel better, to try and compete with my family, because I don't do anything crafty.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Hiking to Lands End

It has been a while since I have posted a hiking blog. This one I think you will like. The hike around Lands End has to be one of the most beautiful hikes in California. You have the forest and the ocean with some cool things to see along the way. It is absolutely worth the drive to San Francisco. I stumbled upon this in the Sacramento Bee about three years ago. I cut it out and tucked it away to do some time in the future. Last Thursday was the day. My niece, Sherie, great-niece, Corrie and I took off for Lands End. So to give you a prospective of where it is here is a picture of the map we used for the hike. We did the trail in the orange with several of the side hikes. We ended up doing about four miles from what we could tell on different signs, four pretty strenuous miles. If you are used to hiking and stair climbing...a lot of stair climbing, then you shouldn't have any problems. Great place to take kids, although you might not be able to do the whole thing with small kids. It is also dog friendly and parking is free. We parked in the Lands End parking lot. The one nice thing is you could do how ever much of it you wanted to do depending on ability. We just choose to do the whole circle. It took us a little over three hours to do the trails we did. The views as you will see...amazing!
 So a little bit of history. The trail is on property that was once owned by a man named Adolph Sutro. He earned his fortune from his engineering skills in building a drainage and ventilation tunnel for the silver mines of Nevada's Comstock Lode. He sold it in 1879 and returned to San Francisco and used his profits to buy real estate and construct public attractions. Two of those were the world's largest indoor swimming complex, the Sutro Baths, and the Cliff House Restaurant. We started the hike by going down to the Sutro Baths ruins. Constructed between 1892 and 1896, it featured seven swimming pools, a museum, restaurants and hundreds of changing rooms. The entire complex was covered by three acres of stained glass and steel. They burned down in 1966.
Looking down on the Sutro Baths ruins
You can still see the blue of the plaster

The ocean laps right up on the walls

Steps down into one of the pools

Unfortunately the water is not so good anymore. It smells. Considering the time it was built, it must have been spectacular. Adolph Sutro built the Ferries and Cliff House Railroad to bring people from San Francisco to Lands End. The trains ran along the edge of the cliffs above the Golden Gate and through a pair of tunnels to bring people to the baths and Cliff House. Part of the trail you walk on follows the former roadbed of the train. 

You can walk through one of the tunnels and see what looks like part of the old track.

The train tunnel

Looking out the other side

These steps went down on to a platform. This area is roped off.

On the right side of this picture is what looks like it could have been the train track. The ocean now almost comes up to it.They don't tell you what this was used for but it is at the end of one of the tunnels and the stairs came all the way up to the top.

The beautiful wooded trail

When you leave the Sutro Baths and the Point Lobos area you get up into a wooded area. The coastal cypress are beautiful and there are some beautiful flowers along the way. After a short walk you come upon a memorial to the USS San Francisco. The ship served in World War II and was critical in the Battle of Guadalcanal. Part of the crew for California set up a foundation to maintain the memorial. It's a nice stop along the way and a great reminder of the history of our country.

Once you leave the memorial you are back in the woods with spectacular views of the ocean.

These stairs go down to the most beautiful little beach. It would be a great place to have a picnic. Going down these were not bad but the coming back up was another story.

This is the little beach. It would even be a great place for the kids to make a sand castle. This is definitely not a place to go in the water. The water here is very powerful and the current strong. 

...but it sure was pretty. This was looking down on it from above.

 On the edge of the cliff above the beach is a rock labyrinth. why it is there and who made it, don't know. But we did it. It is really almost right on the edge.


...And did I tell you there are quite a few stairs....

....well there are really quite a few will not need to hit the gym after this.

Thank goodness some of them actually go down.

Wild sweet peas grow everywhere along the trail.

Unfortunately the fog never lifted so we could only see the bottom of the Golden Gate.
It was such a wonderful day. It is such a great way to spend the day especially when it is going to be hot in Sacramento. If you don't live in the area but are going to visit San Francisco and you like to hike this one is a must do. Before we started out on the trail we needed to eat lunch. At the trail head to the Sutro Baths is a wonderful little restaurant called Louis'. It has been there since 1937 and the food is great! We had fish and chips, a BLT and a ham /cheese sandwich. It was all good, but the fries...oh, yum! Not necessarily a place for good diet food, but if you eat before the hike it just won't matter. (note: they only take cash)
One other note, If you park in the Lands End parking lot there is a gift shop, restrooms and a little espresso/tea shop with snacks and drinks. The kid that did the cappuccinos for us makes a great espresso. It was a wonderful place to stop into after we were done and it had gotten a little cool. Well I hope you enjoyed reading this and if you get a chance to go let me know what you think. Happy Hiking!!
Rhonda, Corrie & Sherie

(For more information on Lands End visit:


  1. It was a great hike, and one that I would certainly do again. In other news, my butt is NOT that big, it was just a really bad angle! Looking forward to taking himself here!

  2. Looks like a fantastic hike. Especially the food part.....
    No one's butts looked big in any photo!

  3. Man I wish we had known about this when we were there! Guess I will just have to add this to stuff we have to do when we come again. It looks really neat but the ruins are kinda creepy in the pictures!
    The butt picture made me laugh I knew sherie was going to comment on that!