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Trip Report Feddback

Just returned from a four week break, mainly hiking in national parks. So here's my report - and thanks heaps to those who gave good advice for my planning.
Seattle - stayed at City Hostel. Centrally located, excellent/friendly/efficient staff, private room with hand basin and cool artwork (a marine theme for my room), bathrooms the best I've encountered for shared facilities, you get the whole shower/toilet lockable and private, they were cleaned several times a day. Breakfast included the basics - fruits, granola, yoghurt, coffee, toast and spreads. The street door is locked so very secure, every time you arrive back the staff call out welcome back, any questions? Only negative a very noisy fan trying to cool the hot room.
My walking needs were met when I was happily hosted by a friend of a friend for a day trip/walk on Mt Ranier.
Hiked with friends in Glacier, Yellowstone and Grand Tetons National Parks. Wildlife amazing.
San Francisco stayed at HI Hostel Fishermans Wharf, in the middle of the Fort Mason National Park, right on the waterfront with a view (through the trees) of Alcatraz and the Golden Gate Bridge. Private room, shared bathroom, just curtains across the showers here not as flash as in Seattle. Lovely big lounge, cafe, and breakfast included (oatmeal, fruit, bagels, toast, juice, coffee). Activities offered for guests, also lots of helpful information and discounts for local attractions (are hostels better than hotels in this regard?). They let you stay until midnight the day you check out if you're waiting for flights - you can have showers and use all the facilities.
Rented a bike from Blazing Saddles ($14 with hostel discount) and rode the Golden gate Bridge, along with thousands of others on a sunny Sunday. Returned by ferry from Sausilito. Hint, Sunday is really busy, lots of speeding/lycra Sunday bikers joining the tourists on the bridge, an accident waiting to happen so perhaps plan to ride it on a weekday.
Alcatraz incredibly crowded, a bit of voyerism involved in this trip methinks, it wasn't really my thing in retrospect.
Fishermans Wharf and its restaurants also crowded and touristy. Found the Buena Vista Bar a couple of streets back, Irish coffee its specialty but also good value-for-money food and service. Harvey's in the Castro was also excellent.

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