Posts Tagged ‘San Francisco’

Day 54

July 23, 2010 4 comments

Location: Redding, CA

Miles Driven: 308

Total Miles: 13,459

Thursday morning was time to continue the journey, so around 9AM I parted ways with Kevin and made my way south towards San Francisco.  It only took about 50 minutes south on Hwy 101.  Before I knew it, I was in a tunnel, then boom…coming out of the tunnel I saw part of the Golden Gate Bridge.

Just after crossing the bridge, I noticed a marina off to the side where a lot of people were walking/biking.  Thinking that would be a good place to explore, I parked the car, put on my jacket (it was about 65 degrees at 10AM), and got out.  I had some good views of the bridge surrounded by fog, the city, as well as nearby Alcatraz Island (I had no idea it was that close to land).

The Rock

I took a seat on a bench near the water and relaxed for a while just enjoying the view.  Ended up falling asleep for a little bit.  A nice break.  When I woke, I figured I’d explore a little more of the city before heading back north.

San Francisco is a cool city, but not one I’d like to return to with a car.  Lots of steep hills, and although most stops were 4-way, I couldn’t help but feel nervous as many times you couldn’t get a good look at traffic on the streets you were crossing.

Hilly San Fran

I made my way over by the touristy “Pier 39” area and found a (relatively) cheap place to park – only $2/20 minutes.  After about 5 minutes there, I had enough.  Big crowds and all kinds of touristy stuff for sale.  However, there were some good views.

Lots of people

I left San Francisco shortly after 1PM, and made my way towards the scenic Napa Valley.  I’m not a wine person, but had heard about how nice the place looks.

I think some grapes grow there

My brother Brendan would be proud of me.  I recognized the name of one of the vineyards – Robert Mondavi.

I didn’t stop for any tours or tastings, but continued in a northeast direction to link up again with I-5N.  A few hours later, I arrived in Redding, CA where Mara and her family lives.  It’s been at least six years or so since I’ve last seen Mara, who long ago used to date my brother Jon.  Thanks to her and her husband, Andrew, for letting me crash here.  Got a great home-cooked meal, and got to relax and swim in the pool (the temperature up here was in the 90s).

Mara and her son, Gavin

On Friday morning we might go out and check out some of the nearby scenic areas and do a hike or two, and then later in the day I’ll make my way up north to Crater Lake, my favorite National Park.