Sweeney Ridge seemed like a good choice. I mean, if you want to go where no one else is, an abandoned missile site is a decent option. There are three routes to get there. The first is paved. That didn’t seem fun. The second starts from behind a nursery off Highway 1, but boasts close to 1000 foot elevation gain in the first two miles--close to 700 feet in the first mile. The third route begins at a college, starting you at 700 foot elevation, meaning you only have to climb 300 feet. That seemed more my fitness level.
Sadly, though, the road to the trailhead was closed since the school itself was shuttered. If I had been alone, I probably would have gone back home. But Tucker is a like a kid: we’re on the road so there must be an exciting adventure about to happen so we can’t just turn around now. While he sat and whined, frustrated that we hadn’t even begun whatever super exciting journey we were going to embark on, I found directions to the nursery and steeled myself for the challenge.
It was surprising to see the official trail sign there at the back corner of a dirt lot that belongs to a nursery. But this is the Bay Area. They respect their open spaces and keep as much of them as they can no matter how odd the location.
Even the very first steps on the trail were straight up hill. It wasn’t a cakewalk for Tucker either.
We continued walking south along the ridge to the “San Francisco Discovery Site.”
Perhaps because of the manmade intrusions upon the landscape that exist now, I am drawn to turn around and face the ocean.