From the first #43 bus stop inside the park at Presidio Blvd. and Simonds Loop, today's meandering route took me down from the backs of the Sumner Loop homes, past the Lover's Lane footbridge, and up the steps to the Main Post. Before you reach the top of the steps you'll see the new hotel, Inn at the Presidio (formerly Pershing Hall).
The 22-room hotel will be open for business on April 1. Got in to have a look around the bottom floor. OMG. I want to iive there. Especially fond of the wooden rocking chairs on the front porch. See http://www.innatthepresidio.com for pics.
Directly behind the Inn (now with an outdoor back patio) is the trailhead for the Ecology Trail (first photo). At first the trail is forested, then you're out of the forest and winding around to Inspiration Point Overlook (second pic).
Started back down from a higher point than I did last visit to the newly reopened El Polin Spring area. The trail connected with the trail I was on last time, then descended a bit more before reaching the top of the new stairway that swoops down through the forest the rest of the way into the peaceful little valley.
Third pic: an unearthed tiled basin that was used long ago to collect water.
Last two pix: A "Then" of El Polin I took in early 2009 and a "Now" showing part of the new boardwalk that has replaced the concrete road. "My" willow tree is still there, happy with new spring buds. If you like lots of birds, trees, and nature in general, go check this place out.
When I could finally force myself to leave, climbed the older stairway and continued trailing back towards the east to eventually reach the top of Lover's Lane at Presidio Blvd. (Presidio Gate) and downhill out of the park.
Archaeology walking tours of El Polin are upcoming, the first on Saturday, March 31 at 11 a.m. See www.presidio.gov/calendar for details. Walks will be offered the last Saturday of each month in spring 2012: March 31, April 28, May 26, and June 30. Space is limited so they need RSVPs: firstname.lastname@example.org