SpellWalk SF: Bernal Heights

May 23, 2020. 5.8 miles. 93 minutes. Average speed: 3.70 mi/hr.

Bernal Heights is a complicated neighborhood to try to map a SpellWalk in. It is a relatively small neighborhood with multiple grids, dead-ends, and infrequent intersections. I wasn’t convinced I could do it at first, but here it is.

This walk was quite an ordeal. Although a birds-eye view shows a relatively orderly and regular street grid, the streets undulate with the topography similar to how Nob Hill and Russian Hill have perfect grids overlaid on steep slopes. This meant that there was a lot of up-and-down on the route, particularly when approaching the foot of Bernal Hill.

I actually made a minor mistake on this route. The “E”s of “Bernal” and “Heights” served as the point of continuity between the two words, necessitating a backtrack on the “H”. On the return trip, I forgot which side of the street I was supposed to walk on. I chose the wrong side, which is why the lower part of the right leg of the “H” appears thicker than the rest of the route.

(The funky-looking “T” was not a mistake; its resemblance to a backward “7” was due to GPS signal variability.)

When I first moved to San Francisco, I lived in Bernal Heights, just west of Holly Park. I wish I had crafted a walking route that passed my old house. But, unfortunately, I was unable to create one.


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