edward palmquist

A Journey of a Thousand Miles Begins with 53,909 steps

A Journey of a Thousand Miles Begins with 53,909 steps

Sep 1, 2016


Waking up after my first night back in San Francisco, I had a vague plan to visit Chinatown and Fisherman’s Wharf. Little did I know that I’m actually a crazy person and ended up walking 27 miles around the city.

(Update: I’ve since gotten a new iPhone and have realized that the distance tracking on my old one may have been inaccurate.)

Read day 1 and day 3.

I started by heading to Oakland’s Chinatown for their annual Street Fest. 



For breakfast, I stopped at Blue Bottle Coffee Co. I prefer black coffee, but I decided to try a macchiato along with a gruyere & pimento pretzel bun. The coffee was small but strong with no sweetness, while the bun was tasty but room temperature. I probably could’ve asked them to heat it up but I didn’t want to be that guy.



I then headed into San Francisco via the Bay Ferry.



There was a farmer’s market behind the ferry building when we went ashore. So I visited that as well as the Ferry Building itself.



Next I explored the Financial District for a bit.



Then I headed north by way of Chinatown.


"I'll call you back. Things are getting weird."

Yet another example of unrealistic body standards for women.


I had a small lunch of Scotch Eggs and a Morimoto Soba Ale at Rogue Ale’s Public House. The eggs were coated with sausage and then fried. They paired wonderfully with the creamy brown mustard dipping sauce. The ale was good, but I didn’t taste as much buckwheat as I’d hoped for – probably for the better.



I considered walking up Lombard Street…



…Then decided not to. Instead, I headed to Fisherman’s Wharf.


These pigeons were living the dream.


After passing through the Marina District, I spent time at the Palace of Fine Arts.



To give my legs a break, I stopped by Sessions at the Presidio for a beer flight.



Then for the first time I walked across the Golden Gate Bridge. I once tried at night but it closes for pedestrians at sundown. This time it was full of them.


I saw a vole along the way and it was adorable.

There was a weird juxtaposition of tourists and signs discouraging suicide.

I did find this backpack darkly hilarious though.


Knowing I was unlikely to make a repeat visit across the bridge, I followed a winding road up a hill past the bridge to see what was beyond it. Eventually, I reached Nike Missile Control Site SF-87.



After some manic Yelp research while walking back into town, I settled on the Russian sausage with sauerkraut & house potatoes at Bistro Gambrinus near USFCA. My legs were starting to give out, so I took an Uber from the Marina District. My DSLR’s battery had died at this point so pardon the iPhone 5S quality photos from here on.

I hadn’t had much Russian food until this trip. The sausage was more tart and had a crispier skin than most. The sauerkraut was milder than German varieties and had larger pieces of cabbage. The potatoes were nice and buttery with a slight garlic kick.



My meal was accompanied by drunk students behind me singing along with the jukebox. They thought “Hey Jude” was “Hey You” and that “Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da” was “La-La-Li, La La La”. 



Backtracking to the Ferry Building via an Uber (whose previous riders had been making out to the driver’s horror) I had a Craft Distillers whiskey flight at Hard Water. In addition to carrying hundreds of whiskies, they also serve lots of southern food. Sadly I was too full to try any.

I’m still getting a feel for whisky, so I don’t have much to say about each one I tried, but other than the Old Potrero rye they were all excellent. The rye wasn’t bad, just a weird taste to end on.



Taking the subway back to Oakland, I collapsed on my bed and ate some snacks I’d picked up in Japantown the day before. The Hot Chili Karamucho was basically spicy shoestring potatoes, while the Dars was a nice and creamy white chocolate.



For those curious about how much walking took place, here’s the stats according to my phone’s Fitbit app. Feel free to add me as a friend on there. I unlocked my first Snow Boot & Cowboy Boot badges for walking 45,000 & 50,000 steps respectively. I also unlocked my Nile badge for walking a lifetime distance of 4,132 miles.

Had I known that my next badge would’ve been at the 55,000 mark, I would’ve forced myself to do the final bit. I guess I’ll aim for that one while in NYC next month.


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