Where the Sidewalk Ends (Sausalito Edition)

Shel Silverstein is one of my favorite authors, and serendipitously, I live in the town where he did much of his writing in the sixties and seventies. So, this summer, we decided to do a survey of the local sidewalks, hoping we might find the end that inspired him. After all, the book was published while he lived here. 

I know, I know...metaphor, you say, it’s just a metaphor. Moreover, are any of the sidewalks the same now as they were in the sixties? It’s true, some things have changed. One of Shel Silverstein’s close friends gave a presentation here not too long ago, and he mentioned a Sausalito gas station that sold gas, guns, ammo, and a variety of not-usually-over-the-counter drugs. I can say with a decent amount of certainty that such an establishment no longer exists. But the condition of some Sausalito sidewalks gives me hope that maybe not everything has changed in the past 50 years.

Our criteria: sidewalks terminating at roads and crosswalks do not qualify since they're not really ends. And sidewalks that stop at driveways also don’t have the “end” quality we are seeking. Everything else is fair game. 

Without further ado, our tour of Sausalito sidewalks and their ends—check out our Google Map if you want to visit them yourself and/or add any we’ve missed: 

A precipitous end...

A precipitous end...

Is that grass soft and white?

Is that grass soft and white?

An unremarkable end, in my opinion.

An unremarkable end, in my opinion.

Any signs of the moon-bird?

Any signs of the moon-bird?

...the children, they know

...the children, they know

Arrows. But not chalk-white arrows. Maybe we're close? And if not, the sidewalk that runs into a fence certainly gets points for originality.

Arrows. But not chalk-white arrows. Maybe we're close? And if not, the sidewalk that runs into a fence certainly gets points for originality.

I don't remember anything in the poem about sidewalks that end at jaguars.

I don't remember anything in the poem about sidewalks that end at jaguars.

We shall walk a walk that is measured and slow. Or, spin around the parking sign.

We shall walk a walk that is measured and slow. Or, spin around the parking sign.

Where the sun burns crimson bright? Or at least, bright. 

Where the sun burns crimson bright? Or at least, bright. 

Plenty of asphalt. No flowers. 

Plenty of asphalt. No flowers. 

Chalk? Maybe? This is a job for the special binoculars.

Chalk? Maybe? This is a job for the special binoculars.

And the winner is...this lovely sidewalk that runs along the bay. Not only did we smell a hint of peppermint on the wind, this sidewalk also magically disappears when the tide is high. And when the tide is just right, it ends in the bay. So, from where I stand, it's THE ONE.

And the winner is...this lovely sidewalk that runs along the bay. Not only did we smell a hint of peppermint on the wind, this sidewalk also magically disappears when the tide is high. And when the tide is just right, it ends in the bay. So, from where I stand, it's THE ONE.