Hike up to Twin Peaks San Francisco

28 Apr


By Rhea H. Boyden

A couple of years ago, after a trip to San Francisco, my younger sister tagged me in a photo. I was standing on the Golden Gate Bridge and she labeled the photo ‘Twin Peaks’.  ‘Hey, that is the bridge not the hill!’ I protested. ‘I was referring to you and your nickname’ my sister joked. I laughed. What else could I do? I was not exactly flat chested at school, earning me the lovely nickname. A couple weeks ago, I was in San Francisco and the sky was beautifully clear, being it slightly before the foggy season. I had the afternoon to myself and I thought a hike up to my namesake would be wonderful as the view of the Bay Area afforded from the top is stunning on a clear day.

I was standing on Valencia Street in the Mission district, having just had a snack in the fabulous ‘Rhea’s Deli’ which has award winning sandwiches. I always smile to see that the deli bearing my real name is still there over the years. I got on the bus number 33 that wends its way up the hill and dumps you at the foot of Twin Peaks before carrying on to Haight-Ashbury. One of the wonderfully comforting things about San Francisco for me, is that an incredible number of its streets bear the first or last names of close friends and family members of mine. It always makes me smile. As I hiked up the windy road to Twin Peaks past big wild rosemary bushes, lilies, bright yellow California poppies, which are the state flower of California, the street names took on a more rural feeling.  They now bore names such as ‘Raccoon’, ‘Mountain Spring’ and even ‘Beaver’. As I continued to climb under sycamore and eucalyptus trees I eventually reached the last stretch of the bare mountain road winding  to the top.

Rhea Deli

The view was stunning and well worth the hike. It was so clear you could see off into the Berkeley Hills past the Oakland Bay Bridge and well into Marin County north of the Golden Gate Bridge. I could see a Gay Pride flag flying in the Castro District below me and look straight down the wide Market Street which leads to the Port of San Francisco. I sat at the top for about half an hour and then headed slowly back down the mountain. Some of San Francisco’s most affluent have houses on Twin Peaks whose front wall is pure glass. More than a few houses had binoculars and telescopes seemingly permanently set up on a tripod to admire the multi-million dollar view. I walked back to the bus and took it back down the hill past all the streets bearing the names of my friends and family in time to meet an old family friend for dinner in one of the many fabulous restaurants on Valencia Street. The street at the heart of the Mission District is a hopping place to spend a day shopping in its funky shops followed by a night out on the town.  A perfect afternoon and evening in San Francisco.

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