Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Ocean Beach revisited

Sometime last month, I randomly decided to plan an Ocean Beach outing. I knew it had been awhile since we'd gone, but I didn't realize it had been seven years (!!!) since the last time.

I'd heard rumors about new regulations, so I did some research, and it turns out that nowadays you can only make fires in designated "fire rings", rather than anywhere on the beach. The good thing is that the city installed twenty fire rings, so if you get there mid-afternoon you're pretty much guaranteed to find an unoccupied one.

We were prepared this time, and brought chairs, blankets, and heavy jackets in addition to the food. Nevertheless, by the time the sun was setting, it was pretty chilly (low 50s) and we were happy to cluster around the fire.

On the menu: sausages, baguettes, potatoes, sweet potatoes, corn, and s'mores (of course). One twist was that someone decided to buy Nutella in addition to chocolate, and although I preferred the traditional s'mores recipe, several people were delighted by the Nutella version. We also brought some cookies and chips to snack on while cooking.

Originally I had planned to buy the firewood from the local Safeway off of Fulton, but in a fortunate coincidence, one of our party had chopped down both a eucalyptus tree and a pine tree in his yard last year. As a result, he was able to bring us lots of well-seasoned wood. We soon discovered that the two types of wood burned at different speeds and temperatures, so it was nice to have both.

Last time we had a lot of trouble starting the fire, but this time it was started in almost no time at all. Perhaps it was because I had absolutely nothing to do with the process. Also, from a distance, it appeared our fire experts were using the "log cabin" method, rather than the "teepee" method we tried last time.

Anyway, we had a great time; we stayed from about 4pm until sometime after 9pm, when we relinquished our spot (and the remnants of our fire) to some grateful teenagers. I'd read that the parking lots close at 10pm (at which point gleeful parking cops promptly start ticketing), but I guess other groups had taken Muni or something, as the beach was still full when we left.

Here are a few photos that I took that day, as well as an SF Examiner blog post (written by someone else in our group, not by me).

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