Monday, May 16, 2011

Rhododendrons in Golden Gate Park

The 100th running of San Francisco's famous Bay to Breakers took place yesterday. And while I am not at all one for running/walking long distances, drinking cheap beer in the streets before noon, or dressing in furry animal costumes, I felt compelled by my San Francisco pride to at least spectate some portion of the event. So, my alternate Bay to Breakers Day itinerary involved packing up a couple cheeses, some finely-sliced salami, and a bottle of Pellegrino and having a picnic overlooking the Music Concourse at Golden Gate Park, where we were able to admire some of the costumes of the participants and party goers who passed by.

While seeking refuge from the cold wind, I happened upon a little treasure—the John McLaren Memorial Rhododendron Dell. Here are some photos I took of this pretty section of the park.

I think this is a much lesser-known garden within Golden Gate Park because it's not even mentioned in the Wikipedia article about John McLaren, despite the garden being a memorial for the first superintendent of the park and his large role in developing it. Undisturbed by the Bay to Breakers event, it was quiet, with lots of open benches, winding paths, and blossoming bushes. The best part about it for me was that the trees that helped seclude the space also did a nice job of blocking out the cold wind that was blowing that afternoon. There is a main entrance off JFK Drive, but I found it much more charming when I entered by the small hidden path behind the Goethe-Schiller statue, where the entrance to the rhododendron dell is marked by a faded, carved wooden sign.

| Photo Credit: Me. |

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