We walked from Civic Center to the Presidio last Sunday via the Marina waterfront in order to purchase a $10 Senior Lifetime Pass to national parks from the U.S. Park Service.
Because the weather was so sunny and gorgeous the previous day, we set off in shorts and T-shirts, but a low-lying fog was drifting in under the Golden Gate Bridge, slowly covering Alcatraz and Angel Island.
Sunday was the last day the passes were on sale for that outrageously low price, and the woman on the phone said it would be best if we went to the Visitors' Center at the Main Post.
I asked the elderly clerk who sold us the passes whether they had been open the previous day during the Patriot Prayer Rally brouhaha, and he replied with a curt, barking "NO!" which implied that he had many angry words to say on that subject but was not going to utter any of them.
The happy surprise was that we had stumbled into a free weekly gathering on the Main Post lawn surrounded by food trucks and tented enclosures offering all manner of treats.
The simple rules signage was very 21st century, with "NO DRONES," and "NO BALLOONS" being favorites.
Another rule is "NO TENT STAKES" but there were plenty of small tents dotting the lawn which are useful for staying out of the sun, particularly for young children.
Last Sunday the Main Post was surrounded by fog to the west and the north, but the lawn felt like a sunny, Shangri-La oasis.
There are also a couple of bars set up with expensive drinks, though they do offer $5 cans of Tecate. You can bring your own booze, but don't be like the bad women next to us who were drinking champagne out of bottles, even though "NO GLASS" is one of the sensible rules.
This was the fifth year for Presidio Picnic, which takes place from 11AM to 4PM every Sunday from March through October. It's worth checking out.