Urban Hiking – Twin Peaks

Mount Sutro was such a hit that we decided to go hiking the next day and take it completely urban to Twin Peaks. Vanessa, Henry, Tessa, Lela, Corrine and I met at the Castro Theatre, one of the few one-screen theaters left in the city. We got really excited that the Little Mermaid Singalong is happening in late February; we started to do the running man. Okay, maybe just Vanessa and I. 🙂  One of my favorite parts of the Castro Theatre is the Wurlitzer organ. Before the main feature, an organist plays before the movie starts!

Castro Theatre
Castro Theatre

As we walked south on Castro Street, we enjoyed the flat and happy walk.

Even the sidewalks in the Castro are happy rainbow
Even the crosswalks in the Castro are happy rainbow

It wasn’t long before it became a workout and our hike truly began. We began to weave up the streets (19th, Collingwood, Diamond, Douglass, 20th, Romain, and Corbett) to make our way to Twin Peaks. We only walked a couple of blocks on each street, but each turn led us up a monstrous incline! The people who live around there must have some buns of steel. We huffed and puffed our way up until we reached Crestline Drive and the trailhead.

IMG_3440
So close but still a ways to go
IMG_3441
Steps that help with the steep climb up to the peaks

We took the steps up to a high wall, climbed over, and tackled the first of the two peaks – the South Peak (which is less frequented and less trampled). We took a moment to take in the views of the bay. Luckily, it was less foggy so we could see downtown, East Bay, Golden Gate Bridge, and Bay Bridge. And of course, I put my Asian Photo Syndrome (aka APS) to good use and made sure we took a group photo with the magnificent view in the background.

Windblown, happy hikers
Windblown, happy hikers

Of course, we couldn’t just summit one peak, so we hiked the North Peak too. Even though it’s the one people usually visit more, the group decided that we prefer the South Peak. After we patted ourselves on the back, we quickly retraced our steps to return to civilization (which luckily, wasn’t far) and to eat.

Lela and Corrine love and had been craving dim sum so we decided to try out a place in the Castro called MaMa Ji’s. There aren’t many great Chinese options – especially dim sum – in the area, so we were intrigued and excited. And hungry!

After a 20-25 minute wait, we were seated. The restaurant is small and simple, but the food smells were overpoweringly good and the patrons were all smiling with satisfaction. We took it as a good sign and ordered a lot of food.

  • Pea Sprout Shrimp Dumplings
  • Dry Bean Curd Skin Roll
  • Sweet Rice with Shrimp, Sausage, and Egg wrapped in Lotus Leaf
  • BBQ Pork Rice Roll
  • Shrimp Rice Roll
  • Shrimp Dumplings
  • Steamed BBQ Pork Buns
  • Vegetarian Chow Mien
  • Dry Sautéed String Beans

Everything came out quickly – thank goodness! – and was pretty darn tasty. In particular, I enjoyed the pea sprout shrimp dumplings and both of the rice rolls. I’d skip the noodles (chow mien) next time. And yes, I plan for there to be a next time! Nice to know there is some decent Chinese food in the ‘hood.

Asian Photo Syndrome Fail! I, of course, forgot to take pictures again because I was so hungry and blogging is still so new. 😦 But I promise to take and post food photos next time and make my people proud. Like this.

If you want to hike Twin Peaks too:

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