Land's End - August 2021

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On a Saturday morning in late August, six of us enjoyed the Land's End walk in the Golden Gate National Recreation Area (GGNRA). 

The starting point was a car park above the Sutro Bath ruins, the walk heading northeast until our turn-around point at China Beach. There were a few steep stairways down to beaches & back.

Our walk was a loop and on the return route we stopped to see the impressive Lincoln Park Steps, at 32nd Ave. & California St. The plain concrete steps were built in 1900. Between 2010 & 2015 they were repaired and dressed in a mosaic of painted tiles.     

part of the GGNRA    

note - you can enlarge any part of a picture by left-clicking in and then out again. 

rock covered with Cormorants & guano  KAT, Barbara, Rich & Linda, Susan, and me start of the walk Monterey cypress trees
  not in focus Hawk, see note below   first look at the Golden Gate bridge
Coastal Trail Mile Rock mini-lighthouse at Mile Rock beach look for low-riding pelicans
  you hafta lean back some... surf-fishing from 100+ ft. above Land's End
the labyrinth at Land's End   stairs near Dead Man's Point  
      Golden Gate Bridge  
Baker Beach & Presidio to the left Ed & Peggy Wayburn, see note 2      

note - this image is out of focus but there's just enough info to identify this as a Red-Shouldered Hawk, often associated with bodies of water, its habitat being the east & west coast of the US. The illustration shown is from a 30+ year old National Geographic Field Guide. 

note 2 -there was a display along the walking trail about the Wayburns, who were important local conservationists; there's more about them below in the postscript.

After lunch at the Eagle's Point Overlook, we walked through the upscale Sea Cliff neighborhood to China Beach, a popular & safe beach for families, 'safe' meaning small waves & not steep beach terrain. Today was nearly wind-free so waves were minimal.  Locals are typically on guard for rare but deadly "sleeper waves". 

On the walk back, we visited the artistic Lincoln Park Steps and the Legion of Honor Museum, where we saw two Holocaust memorials.   

      Marin County landscape
  somewhat smoky air Barbara Sea Cliff neighborhood
posing at a mini-chateau Lincoln Park murals by artist Aileen Barr taking a photo of the stairs
  photo by Rich   Aileen Barr at the '15 commissioning, ceremony, see note
  noisy seaplane Palace of the Legion of Honor Museum entrance  
two Holocaust memorials the concentration camps  
1860s historical  event marker     end of the walk  

note - Ireland-born Aileen Barr moved to SF in 2002. Her tile design & unique coloration were inspired by (early 1900s) beaux arts influences, part of San Francisco's artistic legacy. Aileen's website shows many other SF installations, including her collaboration on the fantastic Moraga Street mosaic tile steps.  See

The hikers did succeed in escaping terrible air quality in the Sacramento Valley today & we had blue sky overhead, nonetheless, photos of the GG bridge show the presence of smoke in the Bay Area. 

This is a popular hike and we saw a lot of people out today. We probably walked around four miles, with a few hundred feet of elevation gain or loss. 

On the drive back we stopped in Novato at Moylan's Brewpub for an early dinner. Once again, it was 4 pm and private & pleasant and the diners all came away pleased.   

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San Franciscans Ed & Peggy Wayburn    

Postscript - I had never heard of local conservationists Edgar & Peg Wayburn before seeing this display along the trail. A Sierra Club page online states that Ed "was a born facilitator and diplomat", who was most effective working quietly, behind the scenes, never seeking the limelight. 

Dr. Edgar Wayburn, M.D. (1906-2010) was a practicing family physician, and, five times President of the Sierra Club (starting in the 1940s). When he wasn't President he held some other top-level position.

Among his many accomplishments were (1) expanding Mt. Tamalpais State Park to its current size, (2) establishing the GGNRA, (3) establishing the Point Reyes National Seashore, (4) creation of Redwood National Park, and, (5) Congressional passage of the 1980 Alaska National Lands Conservation Act, which doubled the size of Denali NP, and created many new NPs and Wilderness areas in that State. Bringing 100 million acres into the National Park System doubled it's size & oversight responsibilities.  

Edgar wrote a book about his Sierra Club experiences called Your Land and Mine, Evolution of a Conservationist, published in 2004 by the Sierra Club. He had been awarded a Presidential Medal of Freedom by Bill Clinton in 1999.  

Peggy Wayburn (1918-2002) wrote five books, published by the Sierra Club.

From a 3/30/2002 obituary in the L.A. Times: "When Peggy Wayburn sat down to write her second book about Alaska, she chose to begin with a simple statistic: anyone wishing to explore the entire state would have to visit one million acres per day, for a year."

"Known primarily for five books on the outdoors, she was also published in a variety of magazines as a writer & accomplished scenic photographer whose images graced many calendars."  

The somewhat worn display on the trail stated that Ed & Peggy regularly walked the Land's End trail, for decades, when they lived only three blocks uphill from China beach, in a house with an enviable view of the Golden Gate Bridge from their living room.

In their later years they lived on an ocean-facing property in the tiny coastal town of Bolinas. 

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