Golden Gate Park: The Japanese Garden!


Many of you know what a Japanese garden aficionado I am. I have wanted to see this garden for many years, but each time I visited San Francisco, it never seemed to work out.

But today was the day! And it did not disappoint. The weather was sunny and beautiful, and the garden was delightful.

Riding over there was slightly challenging, since my right palm was still pretty sore from yesterday’s fall, and my Band-Aids kept coming unglued. And, on the way back, my hydration pack’s valve fell off yet again, not only soaking my left leg yet again, but rolling into the street and into the path of a passing car. Oof. I watched in chagrin as the car’s tire rolled right over it. Afterward, though, I still felt compelled to rescue it, so I ran after it and reattached it. It is still sort of usable, but clearly this is a ridiculous situation at this point. I plan to visit REI tomorrow—with one old and one new friend, who happen to be right in this new neighborhood where I’m staying tonight—to see if I can swap it out for a functional one.

Anyway, back to the park: After enjoying the Japanese garden, I went across the street to the botanical garden. Sadly I had very little time to explore its 55 acres (I was reminded of my ill-fated attempt, a few years ago, to appreciate the New York Botanical Garden’s 250 acres in the last 45 minutes they were open that day) but I at least made it through the “Australian garden” and also to the redwood grove.

Then I headed back to my Warmshowers host’s house north of the park, packed everything up and said goodbye to her two cats, and pedaled across town to this neighborhood, known as the Dogpatch. I saw some great San Francisco street views on the ride. A small ways up one of the iconic impossible hills in this city, I met up with my Servas host for the next two nights, who turns out to have grown up (decades before I did) in northern Virginia also. The childhood friend I’m meeting tomorrow, who lives just a few blocks away from here, is also from there, naturally. And, my host invited her downstairs neighbor over to join us for a wonderful home-cooked meal, and it turned out that neighbor used to live in Portland. It’s a mobile society we live in, and one never knows when fun intersections will pop up.

I’m looking forward to whatever tomorrow may bring!

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