Reviews by Pioja M.
Pioja M.
Pioja M. for SF Geology Walking Tour

I absolutely loved this earthquake-themed walking tour of San Francisco! If you want to know this city at the deepest possible level, this is the tour for you. About a dozen people, in ages ranging from their twenties to their sixties, meandered through the Mission, Castro, and lower Twin Peaks neighborhoods, up side streets and to overlooks that visitors rarely stumble upon -- and that even residents may have missed. We met at Dolores Park, and Robin, our tour guide, introduced us to the earth forces that have shaped this city. She was obviously very knowledgeable and yet knew how to convey scientific information in a lively, memorable way. Out of her backpack (aka mobile classroom) she pulled props -- like a nerf-style earth that came apart and showed the various layers that make up the earth -- and snacks, like a gourmet cheese ball that was not only delicious but also demonstrated the consistency of the earth's core and mantle. Later in the tour, other delicious tidbits were brought out to demonstrate other principles of earthquake science. Yum! She also had historic photos that allowed us to compare the present-day view with what we would have seen during the 1906 quake, and I especially enjoyed Robin's stories of that disaster, how the city handled it, and what earthquake scientists learned from it. I found myself repeating those anecdotes at a dinner with friends that evening, and everyone was as rapt as I had been. As befits an earthquake-themed tour, we also paid close attention to outcroppings of rock, and Robin again brought out props -- this time a tupperware container filled with different rock samples -- as she explained the geology of various kinds of bedrock. One of the great things about this tour was that is seemed to attract very interesting people, and the questions put to Robin were at quite a high level. Tour participants also shared knowledge of the city and of science with each other, so the experience felt less like a teacher leading us along and more like a group of curious individuals exploring in one of the most beautiful cities in the world. Robin knows her stuff, and she is fun and personable. I also love that she follows up with an email giving links to more of the information we touched on during the walk. Very highly recommended!