Lands End Lookout

Earlier this year, the Anacortes Cyborg Ferrets FTC Robotics Team #7198 competed at the Pasteur Interleague Championships where they earned a berth at the State by becoming the Winning Alliance Captain, then did same to advance to the FTC West Super Regional Competition in Oakland. Seventy-two teams from 13 western states competed in hopes of a chance go to Worlds. Although the Cyborg Ferrets failed to advance, they learned valuable lessons that they plan to incorporate during next year’s FTC season. Namely, there’s more than one way to skin a cat (no offense to felines).

While judges checked robots for size, weight and component compliance requirements, our family made our way to a beautiful area of San Francisco, Lands End Lookout,

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part of the US National Park Service. Their site provides a perfect description,

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“At the northwestern corner of San Francisco, there is a series of stunning views at every turn in this wild and windy trail. Hillsides of cypress and wildflowers, views of shipwrecks and access to the ruins of Sutro baths, a San Francisco specials memory.”

We parked along Point Lobos Ave and ate lunch at Louis’ Restaurant. The food was fine. The view was spectacular (note to diners: arrive early to avoid long lines and offer to wait for a spot along the north side of the place). Afterwards, we wandered around the building towards the water where we could access the walking paths

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and what remains of the Sutro Baths .

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The sea stacks alone were worth the walk.

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The best view of the former Sutro was further along the path, looking back towards the Cliff House restaurant.

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We continued along the rocky shoreline,

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past some small areas of vegetation,

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and up the hill towards the cypress trees.

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I was excited to see some of the same wildflowers we get to enjoy at Deception Pass State Park, like these.

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America maritima (Thrift)

Others, I had not seen before where we live.

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Campanula scouleri (Scouler’s Harebell)

Soon, we came upon an awesome sight: the Golden Gate Bridge.

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Great views continued (below morning low clouds) as we neared it.

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There were many others visiting that day, but the grounds were so extensive, it didn’t seem crowded.

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The main path gave hikers, walkers and runners plenty to do, but you could also find an occasional offshoot, like this one. This dog impressed me by thinking big.

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As we returned to the start, we passed fields of familiar flowers in full bloom that we won’t see here for a month or two.

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My only regret was too little time for photography.

Afterwards, we drove to the Golden Gate Bridge, crossed it from south to north and stopped at Vista Point to admire the bay and the bridge.

When the situation presented itself, I found it impossible to resist snapping a shot of two modestly dressed women (bottom left of frame) interacting as a young woman used a selfie-stick, a device I’d never seen before. We noticed them several more times in use by tourists in San Francisco, especially along Lombard Street.

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While Vista Point allowed a beautiful, nearly longitudinal perspective of the bridge, Lands End Lookout is my new favorite place from which to view it.

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