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I Left My Heart In San Francisco Earthcache

Hidden : 02/02/2011
2 out of 5
1 out of 5

Size: Size:   not chosen (not chosen)

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Geocache Description:

As an earthcache, there is no “box” or “container” to discover. Rather, with this cache, you discover something about the geology of the area. For more info, consult This earthcache is handicap accessible.

This earthcache is located at the H. Dana Bowers Memorial View Point accessible from Northbound Hwy 101 just after crossing the Golden Gate Bridge. If traveling southward, simply take the FIRST exit on the south end of the bridge and follow signs to the Hwy 101 northbound, then stay in the right lane crossing the bridge.

The title has two-fold meaning: First, the viewpoint overlooks the city of San Francisco. Secondly, I have lived in the Bay Area for nearly eight years and now find myself transitioning to the east coast, leaving my “heart in San Francisco” or more precisely the North Bay.

The coordinates lead you to the parking lot on the southwest corner of the viewpoint sidewalk. The information panels are embedded in the stone/concrete wall around the semi-circular view point walk. Total walking distance is less than 300 feet but the views of the Golden Gate Bridge and the city of S.F. are absolutely stunning (as is the resident geology).

Logging Requirements:
Send the answers to #1-#5 to me through my geocaching profile. DO NOT post the answers to any logging requirements on this site.

1.List the name “GC2HM1M I Left My Heart in San Francisco Earthcache” in the first line of your email. Also, list the number of people in your group.
2.Look down at the water and at the Golden Gate Bridge (especially what you can see of its moorings (attachment to the rocks). What geology (including river/bay formation) mentioned on the signage is visible from this location?
3.If sea levels were to raise 100-300' as is proposed by some global warming theorists, what would be the affect on the geology visible from this point (see information / signage for some clues from past history).
4.Based on the descriptions below/on the information panels, what range of mountains are visible to the north and to the east “on the horizon”?
5.Which was created first (Sierra Nevada Range or Coastal Range) according to the viewpoint signage?
6.DO ONE OF THE FOLLOWING: 1) Post a picture of yourself and/or your GPS with your log that shows Some aspect of the viewpoint (Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco, Mariner statue) DO NOT show any of the pertinent information panels in your picture or your log may be deleted. 2) quote the sign above the PHONE attached to the first vertical post on the Golden Gate Bridge walkway (you'll have to walk about .2 miles round trip), in other words, why is the phone in such a unique location?

I will only respond if you have incomplete logging requirements. Go ahead and log your cache

Geology – Formation of the Mountains:
California's geography is the result of complex and dynamic forces. Various processes have continuously formed and reformed the land's surface as the crust has been pushed, stretched, torn, and eroded. At the same time, change has altered the ocean's level, shifting the shore of the Pacific between the Sierra Nevada and the Farallon Islands. This ongoing series of movements and climatic changes has created California's dramatic mountains, river valleys, and broad plains.
The San Francisco Bay area lies at the base of the Sacramento and San Joaquin Rivers in the midst of the Coast Ranges. These ranges parallel the California coast for 880 kilometers (550 miles) from the South Fork Mountains in Humboldt County to the Santa Ynez Mountains in Santa Barbara. They are a chaotic mass of ocean floor and layered sediments whose composition point ot the processes that formed them.

Two separate periods of earth movements formed the Coast Ranges. The first took place as the sea floor began to slide beneath the western edge of the American continent. The continent grew as chunks of ocean sediment and rock crammed against the landmass. Mountains and valleys were formed as areas of land sank or rose and were subjected to erosion and sedimentation. Higher temperatures elevated sea levels, breaching coastal mountains and filling valleys with ocean water. At one time the entire Central Valley was an inland sea before filling with sediment. More recently, lateral movement began along the San Andreas Fault System. The System is made up of multiple fault lines that lie within a narrow zone and separate a sliver of land from the rest of the continent. This western-most sliver is now moving northwest 25 to 50 millimeters (one to two inches) a year. The San Andreas Fault is the most well known fault of the System. It runs three kilometers (two miles) west of the Golden Gate Bridge, and its trace is clearly seen as it passes through the finger like lagoon of Tomales Bay before reentering the ocean.
First the _______and then the __________ were built as the ocean floor slid beneath the American continent in a process known as subduction.

The San Francisco Bay-Delta Estuary (visible below) is an immensely valuable resource for wildlife and people. It is the largest estuary on the west coast of North and South America and contains over 90 percent of the state's coastal wetlands. Lying at the confluence of the Sacramento and San Joaquin Rivers, it isa vast network of open water, wetland, and forest. This and other estuaries provide habitat, replenish aquifers, filter water, and provide flood control. These functions make it a critical and wondrous component of both the natural and urban environment.
The San Francisco Bay-Delta Estuary is made up of various natural habitats, including bays and channels, marshlands, ponds, riparian forests and willow groves, moist grasslands, and grassland and vernal pools. Numerous interrelated factors contribute to the character of these habitats. In the deeper bays of the estuary, wind and waves scour open channels and deposit coarse sediments as narrow beaches. Tidal flats and marshes form in the shallow, flatter areas of the bay. In these areas, sediment and fresh and salt water combine, creating a diverse and productive ecosystem.

There are an estimated 500 species of wildlife, including amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals, associated with the bay and its surrounding landscape. Many of these animals are endangered or threatened such as the Salt Marsh Harvest Mouse, California Red-legged Frog, and California Clapper Rail. Harbor Seals can often be seen swimming in the bay waters below and diving Cormorants stand on rocks and ledges with wings spread, drying themselves.

Congrads to mulvaney for FTF (First to Finish logging requirements) on 2/2/2011)
Alt & Hyndman, Roadside Geology of Northern and Central California. Mountain Press Publishing. Missoula: Montana. 2000.

Informational Panels at the location

Additional Hints (No hints available.)

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