For the second time in this first week of 2010, I hauled myself out on the road for a power walk. Monday was a Crissey Field 4 miler, today the venue was Golden Gate Park and the goal was 5 miles. I’d like to say it gets easier, and maybe two walks in a week isn’t anything to go by, but this walk seemed colder, harder and longer. Well, it was longer. I managed to clock 5.8 miles starting from Stow Lake, out to Ocean Beach and back up JFK Boulevard to the Boat House. I think I improved the pace, simply because I wasn’t pulling my camera out every two minutes to snap a picture. Not that Golden Gate Park doesn’t have scenery to rival Crissey Field. I just got myself turned around and failed to go out to the ocean on my planned route down Martin Luther King Boulevard. Instead, I seemed to pass only erosion control projects and mulch pile areas. Still, I kept up a good clip, at one point segueing into “Chi Walking”. I’d like to say I was gliding like a panther. But I was probably walking more like my feathered friend here.

Still even a cold, blustery day in the Park offers visual food for thought and a few photo opportunities.

Check out this interesting tree. Anyone have any idea what kind it is?

It looks as if it's made from green Ostrich feathers.

Seriously Jurassic. I was checking for Pterodactyls.

I stopped mentally complaining of the cold when I reached the beach and saw there were hardy souls surfing. Cowabunga, Dudes!

That’s when I discovered our Tsunami Evacuation Route. It’s good to know where these are.

When the water's rising, head for the windmills.

Speaking of windmills, Queen Wilhelmina’s Tulip Garden was looking pretty bare. But then it always looks bare, except for the two short weeks when all the tulips burst into bloom. Not yet, I guess.

The Park staff is apparently trying to fool the tourists with poppies. But we Natives know to accept no substitutes.

Back from my loop, I loaded myself into the car and drove home. And mentally calculated that I’d pretty much fueled myself on milk products: a Grande Mocha, a bagel with cream cheese and a yogurt. If I add a steak to that, I’ll feel like a Masai warrior.

Or maybe just like one more in the flock.