Road Trip Day 9
San Francisco, California
I brought the electric kettle and French press on the road with me to keep my coffee budget in check. I made a thermos of coffee in the motel room to take on the road. I stayed the night in Salinas, about an hour outside of San Francisco. I'd laid out my clothes the night before but it was cold enough for the addition of a scarf and hat. Saturday traffic was light and I sang along to the radio, getting more and more excited as the miles to San Francisco numbers got smaller and smaller. When I saw the skyline of downtown, I squealed.
I didn't really have a plan for the day. When I saw an exit I took it. The skies were blue at the beginning but as I drove further down Mission, the fog set in. I waited until I got good and lost before I consulted my GPS to see what direction the Bridges were, then headed in that direction.
The cable cars started in the late 1800s. The steep slopes combined with slippery cobblestone could cause a horse drawn carriage to drag the horse to its death. This was not super common (5 horses) but one man, who's father held the patent for wire rope, witnessed this horrific sight and it gave him an idea.
In the 1940s Maya Angelou, at the age of sixteen, was the first female and the first African-American streetcar conductor. They originally denied her application but with encouragement from her mother she went to the office every day and waited there from open to close. After two weeks she got the job.
San Francisco (Spanish for Saint Francis) was founded in 1776 by Spain. In 1821 it became part of Mexico and during the Mexican-American war it was claimed by the United States.
Maritime Historical Park and Aquatic Park Cove
The sun came out so I no longer needed a coat or hat.
I'm so freaking happy here.
The Balclutha cargo ship launched in 1886 from Scotland. From Wales, carrying coal, it took 140 days to reach San Francisco. It took California wheat back to Europe during the grain trade.
In 1899 it was transferred to the Hawaiian registry and was the last vessel to fly the flag of the Hawaiian Kingdom.
In 1904 the Alaska Packers purchased her for $500 and renamed her Star of Alaska.
in 1933 Frank Kissinger purchased the Star of Alaska for $5,000 and renamed her again, this time the Pacific Queen. It appeared in the film Mutiny on the Bounty.
In 1954 the Maritime Museum purchased the Pacific Queen for $25,000 and assisted with donations and local labor restored her. They also changed her name back to the original Balclutha.
It was by far the better name. Balclutha sounds like the massive ship that annihilates the sailboats Star of Alaska and the Pacific Queen.
Parking was $25-$35 near the pier...I just refused. I wanted to walk through the neighborhoods anyway. I drove around until I found a meter in North Beach. I think it was $2.50 an hour.
I've wanted to live here since I was 15 years old.
The salmon pink, look at the pink!
The last time I visited the city was nearly 15 years ago. I remember the steep incline. You can obviously see the steep incline. And yet when you are walking the steep incline, you can't believe how steep the incline is.
These acid green windows are unbelievable. And they are probably worth more than my car.
San Francisco Ferry Building designed in 1892 and completed in 1898. The clock Tower is 245 feet tall with four clock dials, each 22 feet in diameter. It makes you feel really small.
The stunning Bay Bridge originally completed in 1936. It was the longest bridge that existed at that time. View of the bridge's western side.
Patrick was worn out from a combination of the hills and chasing every seagull he saw.
Seagulls 30,000 Patrick 0.
It's estimated that 30K gulls live in the San Francisco Bay area and yet look how they don't crowd each other.
The Golden Gate Bridge opened in 1937. Though it appears red, the name of the official color is International Orange, which was the color of the steel primer. The Navy originally wanted it to be painted in yellow and black stripes. And ladies and gentlemen, this is why designers are so important. The architect loved the vivid primer color so much he kept it.
The parking area near Golden Gate was full, as was all the surrounding pay lots. I drove up the hill a half-mile or so and found a dirt lot full of cars and squeezed my car between two giant tree stumps. It was such a tight squeeze, in fact, I had to climb out the passenger side door. But I would have climbed out the sunroof for free parking! I thought I'd just walk towards the bridge but when I climbed the hill behind the lot, I saw this park!
It was a little windy but after a little coaxing, I was able to balance my phone on the fence post and use the timer. There were people around but not that many considering how beautiful this area is. I overheard a local passerby say, "wow, I've never been here on the weekend, it's really crowded. During the week there are like no people". Dude, this is not crowded.
A trail ran parallel to the edge where I saw women jogging. Can you imagine this jogging view every day? It might inspire me to actually take up running. Maybe.... No, I still wouldn't take up running.
A young family and I exchanged cameras and took each other's picture. I never ask a stranger to take my picture, it's too nerve-racking for me. However, I will offer to take a strangers picture and if they return the favor then woohoo. This particular man was very excited to use, as he put it, a real camera and went into fashion photographer mode. It was a tad embarrassing but I'm thankful for the pictures!
The gorgeous Golden Gate bridge is also the top suicide location in the world. Because of this, there are 11 crisis telephones on the bridge that will connect you with suicide prevention counselors. The first suicide happened 3 months after completion and it's estimated there have been 1,600 since.
A 250ft fall into frigid waters has a 95-98% fatality rate. Only 46 people have survived the jump.
The city is considering a net system under the bridge.
The towers are 500 ft above the roadway. When the fog was thick earlier in the day, you could still see the top of the towers peaking through it like a magical kingdom.
Good-bye beautiful city! Next Stop Portland Oregon!