Climb California

Yesterday, I felt very moved watching the funeral for the four Oakland policemen killed in the line of duty last week. As I was feeling moved, watching the news, they ran a story on this morning's 3rd Annual Bank of America Climb California stair climb event to benefit the American Lung Association. I knew I had to do it. I had to do it for the OPD!

(And a blog post, of course.)

At 52 stories, the 555 California Street building is San Francisco's second tallest building, and the USA's 51st tallest building, coming in at 779 ft (237.4 m). Total number of stairs: 1,197.

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I got out of bed at 7:30 a.m. and hauled my skinny, lazy ass downtown. I got registered...


Stretched a bit...


And I took the stairs to the top!

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When I got there, I was on top of the world.


Well, on top of the San Francisco world.






Remember a few months ago when we went to Nob Hill and I couldn't back up far enough to get a picture of Grace Cathedral? Here you go.


Washington Square Park in North Beach.


Twin Peaks on the horizon on the left. We went there too.


Fisherman's Wharf. We were there recently.

Fisherman's Wharf area

And of course you know Bernal Hill. Can you see it through the morning mist?


How long did that take? Was it horrible? Are you sore? I didn't check my time, so I don't know how long it took, but I would be surprised if it was much more than 20 minutes. It all happened very fast. And it was not at all horrible. It was fun! I sort of jogged up to the 6th floor, at which point it became a walk. I think I took most of it two steps at a time because my legs are so long and the steps were small. There were five different water & rest stations scattered on the way up. I grabbed a shot of water at four of them, but I never stopped to rest. The last 10 stories felt like the easiest. Right now, two hours later, I am not sore or tired, but we'll see how I feel tomorrow! All I basically feel is the euphoria of a really good workout.

At the top, besides the views, climbers were greeted by a hallway full of people ringing cowbells and noisemakers. That was fun.

There was food and drink...


There was wine...of course there was wine.


And there was a band...and not some sissy emo band, these guys rocked it out! Five A.M. is their name and they were perfect for the occasion.


I had just arrived on the top and was taking in the views, high on endorphins, and the guy was singing "What have I done, what have I done, Someone raise the sun".

It was a perfect moment. And I got a free CD.

ADDED: Chronicle story about it here.


All This Trouble... said...

Oh my God! That rocks my ass! I'm so undeniably southern. Ugh! Why don't I get out more? Why don't I travel? Oh, yeah...I have more children than money. that's it.

I had you pegged for a short guy. Isn't that funny?

chuck b. said...

In fact, I'm 6'2". But I frequently hold my camera at the waist and take pictures using the tilt-angle LCD. That's probably why, huh?

weeder1 said...

Pretty sure I'd be gasping for air by the 3rd floor. Great for you!! And so nice that you did it "for the Oakland Police Dept." Even if you do ache tomorrow it will be a "good" ache.


ZoomZoomZoom said...

hey! i just finished the climb too...really great and not as bad as i thought it was going to be.

do you know when times will be up?



chuck b. said...

I know nothing! I know they were supposed to be available in the Carnelian Room, but I neglected to check before I left. I'm expecting there to be some kind of follow up communication... You know how it works--now that they have our information, we'll be hearing from them again and again...

Wasn't it fun? I was surprised by how fun it was.

Christopher C. NC said...

I had not heard about the four Oakland police officers. That is just terrible, horrible, awful.

Even climbing up and down this mountain everday, more than once a day, with what I think is about a 50 to 75 foot elevation difference between houses, I don't think I could go up all those stairs in 20 minutes. I am too methodical and not quite as tall. I hope they used more than one stair well for all the people.

Did you get to take the elevator down?

Pam/Digging said...

You're in good shape from all that hoofing around the hills you do in order to make interesting posts for the rest of us sitting on our butts. :-) Great story, and a good deed, Chuck.

Frances said...

I didn't know you were tall either, and Christopher is pretty dang tall, don't let him fool you, and lanky. I can imagine you taking two steps with long legs, no fair for us shorties.

That is really cool you did it for a good cause too.


lisa said...

That was fun! And surprisingly, I am not one bit tired! ;-) Let's do it again!

Deviant Deziner, aka Michelle said...

Hey Chuck,
Thanks for doing this with the American Lung Association.
I wish I had known about it. I would have tried to make it despite having my only surviving lung giving me problems again lately.

Great photos and commentary.