San Francisco: City of Haze

Center map

It started out hazy…

About an hour outside of San Francisco (Turlock, CA) and it stayed that way for the day—even downtown in the City by the Bay.

The temperature dropped to around 34º last night; far warmer than the 19º my last night at Yosemite! 

I wanted the vista of coming into SF from the north and was pleased with most of the scenery through Marin County. Didn’t see the Skywalker Ranch (cause I couldn’t find it!).

And there it was!

Oh, that iconic and smaller-than-I-expected Golden Gate Bridge. There were signs all over the place warning “failure to pay toll” results in a minimum $487 fine.

I was kind of worried because there was no toll booth, no slot, no basket, no nuthin’ to pay a toll! There was a sign that said “no stopping” and another that lit up with the words “proceed through!” Thanks for raising my blood pressure, SF!

What they don’t tell you is—and I found this out later, after some nervous moments, from the curator of the marine conservatory at the Citadel at the base of the bridge—they take a photo of your license plate and mail you a bill for the five dollar toll (it goes up to six this Monday)!

The birdman of…

I’ve only seen it in movies but, I did get a chill when I saw it. Alcatraz sits in the middle of the bay beckoning to wrong-doers everywhere as a warning that crime doesn’t pay. Just the thought of what went on there gives me the chills.

I drove around for an hour to so and liked the “feel” of the city. Saw lots of streets on big hills but, I couldn’t remember the name of that one street you always see in the movie chase scenes. Too busy driving to look it up (“OK Google” couldn’t help me after multiple approaches to the question), I gave up on that and commanded my constant travel partner to “take me to Chinatown.” Couldn’t read a single sign there so, it was off to the Bay Bridge (no toll going east!).

Treasure Island!

Welcome to Treasure Island. This island sits, literally, in the middle of the Bay Bridge. It’s a dilapidated place.

With the feel of an abandoned warehouse district, there are few houses (all on the north end of the island) and the remnants of what was once a naval base as evidenced by large hangers looming along California Avenue.

It did, however, offer a great spot to look back and snap a photo of downtown San Francisco, haze and all, and the Bridge off in the distance.

So, it’s off I go, to the north, in search of a campsite in the Mendocino National Forest. Oh boy, more woods and chilly nights. And more bears! Yaay!

Happy Trails my friend! 

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