San FranciscoOctober 26, 2016 in the United States
After a night on the coast, I spent the next day exploring the rest of the national seashore. I rode out to the lighthouse and then headed back towards the mainland. I'd seen signs for hog island oysters and wanted to try some so I stopped in at a restaurant and ordered a few. For being so close to the source, the price was out of control. $18 for 6 oysters! I bit the bullet and ordered some. They were good but not worth the price. That was my budget for local food in that area, so it was back to the regular diet. During the day I got in touch with Aaron and planned on going to his place in San Francisco that night. I made my way towards the city but had extra time before Aaron was out of work so I took a look at the map and found a road called the "panoramic highway". I knew what I was doing for the afternoon!
Route 1 was beautiful and without rain it was a blast to ride on. After finding the turn into the panoramic highway it immediately turned into switchbacks. At the crest of the road I was on, I saw the entrance to a park. I turned up that road which continued to ascend. The twists and turns seemed endless as the road narrowed. After a while I came to a parking lot and I could see the entire bay area. I somehow hit the perfect day for overlooking the city. No fog and a beautiful sunny day. I then headed for the Marin headlands and got some closer views of the golden gate bridge. I don't know how often you can catch a clear day on the bridge but every other time I've been in the city, the golden gate has been shrouded in thick fog, sometimes clearing for just a few minutes. I hung out and stared at the city. An unusual thing to do these days. I felt the ebb and flow of people showing up for a minute or two, snapping a few pictures, and promptly leaving. It wasn't very peaceful, and should have started charging money for the number of pictures I took of other people as they asked me to take their picture.
After checking out the bridge it was time to head into San Francisco. I crossed the bridge and met Aaron at his apartment. We were able to sneak my motorcycle into his garage behind his car and his motorcycle. It was time to get used to tight spaces in cities again. It's always fun hanging out with Aaron. We had a couple of beers and then went out for some delicious deep dish a few blocks from his house. One of the things I really like about cities is convenience and proximity to restaurants, bars, and people. It can be tiring at times, but I usually enjoy a city when I have friends to hang out with. Thanks again Aaron for having me over! I can't wait to have you visit when I get to Colorado.
The next day I headed for Oakland to see Lara and Jon. I crossed over the bay bridge and was introduced to California lane splitting. During rush hour there is always stopped traffic. I am usually at the mercy of the traffic jam, but I was now on two wheels which easily slice through traffic like a samurai sword through a watermelon. Not sure if that's a thing but you get the idea.
It was great to see Jon and Lara again. Some recent transplants to the area, it was good to see friends doing what I plan to do very soon. We had great food, explored the farmers market on the weekend and hung out. It was a nice change of pace. Two more gracious and generous hosts. I look forward to hosting them as well when I find my next place to call home.
After Oakland I made my way to Cupertino to visit David and Vanessa. I met them at one of their friends Halloween parties a few miles from their house. I arrived at the party not knowing anyone there, and easily gained entry. If you find a house with a party going on I've found that it's usually pretty easy to get in without knowing anyone there. Just an observation. I swear I'm not a creeper who crashes random parties. Soon David and Vanessa showed up as Waldo and a slutty pumpkin. The party had started.
After the party Vanessa needed to make a shepherd's pie for a work pot luck the next day. We all chopped some veggies and hung out while Vanessa assembled the pie. After some great conversation I think I was able to keep them up past their bedtime. They both had work the next day so I rode back into San Fran to have lunch with Alison. We missed meeting up while I was in the city and I had time to go back for lunch. It's was good to see her even though it was just for lunch. After lunch I rode back to Cupertino but headed down the coast and over some mountains. Again riding on some great roads. I should mention that the weather in the bay area was mostly overcast with short rain storms, but Cupertino was the border of the rain I'd been trapped in for the last month. It was the light at the end of the tunnel.
That night David and Vanessa and I went out for dinner. Another night out with friends. Something that I'd become accustomed to living in Boston for so many years, and really missed while on the road.
Eventually it was time to keep going south. I really wanted to see Yosemite but for the second time on the trip I aborted the mission due to cold weather. Temperatures the park were consistently in the 20s at night. Time to go further south in search of better weather.
Pictures: Road to the lighthouse on point Reyes. View of San Francisco from atop Mt. Tamalpais. Golden gate from Marin headlands. Steep motorcycle parking at Lara's and Jon's in Oakland. A view of the city from faction brewery. Delicious grilled cheese sandwiches there. Thanks Jon!Read more