Into California and San Francisco

I woke up early in Fallon with intentions of blasting out of Nevada and getting into California via Lake Tahoe, before traffic gets bad (Sunday vacationers returning home). But as I was packing up, I saw a tweet from another adventurer that had just started his trip, @jryden. He said he was just leaving Carson City. I quickly hit him up on twitter to see if he wanted to get breakfast in Fernley, which is not too much out of the way for either of us. We met up at 9AM and had breakfast at a place called “Wigwam”. His name is Joe, nice guy…his bike looked so clean to me, being used to mine with a zillion bugs, mud, salt and grime. But I guess he is only 2 days into his trip. Follow his adventure on his blog and on twitter.

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After breakfast, I continued west, passing thru Carson City and on towards Cali. I passed the “Welcome to California” sign just as I got into South Lake Tahoe. And predictably, into a big mess of people. I’ve been used to some solidarity on this trip so the sudden infusion of people into my trip was a little much. I took a break from the traffic and went down to the waterfront to take a pic or two. It’s beautiful there, may have to visit sometime.

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After sitting in traffic for a while, I started fiddling with my GPS to find a new route. I discovered there is a ‘back road’ thru South Lake Tahoe and quickly went for it. What a time saver. I took SR-89 to SR-88, which was a great road with lots of curves that takes you through the Eldorado National Forest. I passed Caples Lake and Silver Lake. It would have been a great drive if it hadn’t been for the traffic…and a logging truck that wouldn’t use turnouts for anyone to pass. So I tried to relax and take in the scenery. It was a bit smokey, I assume due to a fire.

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I got into Jackson, stopped for a fill-up and and phoned into my contact in SF to get directions to his place. I took SR-16 into Sacramento from there. Lots of farmland out in Northern Cali that I’d never seen before. Pretty rolling hills and “Happy Cows”.

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I wanted to cross the Golden Gate bridge as part of the end of this trip, so I went north of San Pablo Bay thru Vallejo on SR-37 and stopped in Novato for gas. A pretty drive actually, with lots of potential for exploration…if you have a boat. Once I hit the 101, I started to think of how close I am to home and stopped to get a pic to send to Tracy. A fellow on a BMW 1150RT chatted me up at a gas station and actually offered to take the pic. Thanks man!

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A cool tunnel on the way to the GG Bridge.

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I hit up Golden Gate Park, to drive up the hill and get a shot of the bridge. Beautiful, but foggy and cold. It was 55F up there! And it had been in the low 100’s just a few hours earlier, nearly a 50 degree change. But the shots were awesome.

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Finally got down to the Golden Gate. Crossed the bridge in a little bit of traffic. I got honks when they saw me taking shots. People are so impatient, I just wanted to capture my $6 view!

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Didn’t realize it cost $6 to cross it or I’d have had my money ready. D-oh.

I had programmed my GPS to take me right to my destination for the night…but it decided to take me on a scenic tour of downtown San Francisco that lasted 45 minutes. When I finally stopped to see what was up, I realized I had passed his home just at the south end of the bridge, doh! My friend Paul had hooked me up with his college buddy Brian, whom I’d never met. He was super nice and his house was awesome. One challenge was parking my bike on the 45 degree angle street he lived on…thankfully he had an open garage and I slipped the bike inside. Decided I’d worry about how to get it out tomorrow. We dined on thai food and hit the sack around 11PM.

His view of the city at night.

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My route for the day, 341 miles.


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Tomorrow, I do the Cali coast and on towards So-Cal!

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