Wednesday, May 06, 2009

San Fransisco

I spent the past four days in San Fransisco with good friends. It was quite the reunion. At one point, six of us who once lived together in a house in Salt Lake City gathered from all corners of the West to scarf down sourdough bread and soak in lots of San Fransisco dampness (my friend Paul, who lives there now with his wife, Monika, said "Honestly, it's hardly ever this crappy here. It must be you."

Our friend Jen flew out from Utah just to visit everyone. She and I wanted to do "touristy" things. We convinced the others to ride the ferry to Alcatraz Island.

The audio tour guide told us that 1,500 prisoners were housed there during all of its days as a notorious prison. As a tourist destination, that island must see about that many visitors in a handful of hours. Honestly, after visiting there, I don't see what was so bad about it. It's kind of a cozy little spot. :-)

The fog started to clear on the ride home.

It brought the most sunshine I had seen in days, and for a couple beautiful hours I could see San Fransisco.

Jen and Monika are on a boat; it's as real as it gets. (There guys, I said it.)

Fishermen's Wharf was certainly good for laughs, and much more palatable than the Juneau docks.

The Mission neighborhood also is good for laughs, and has much better food.

In between soaking up city life, there was still a little time to soak in some mist and miles. I'm not a huge fan of biking in cities. If I knew the city well, I'm sure I could find some great routes to ride in San Fransisco, but most of the time in city limits I felt like I was inching through traffic - green light, sprint; red light, stop. I did some hard interval climbs in the hills of Noe Valley. But when I finally had time for a longer ride, I dodged morning rush hour traffic and cable cars down Market Street, coasted beside the shore and crossed the Golden Gate Bridge. The fog was so thick I could barely see the cars on the street next to me, let alone the bridge or any of the famous views. But once I was back in Marin County, I felt more at home.

After looping over the ridge a couple of times, I crossed back over to the city and found some great trails in the Golden Gate park. Later, I became hopelessly lost in the northwestern corner of the city and somehow landed on Haight Street. My San Fransisco experience was nearly complete.

Later on Monday, Monika, Jen and I "climbed" the San Fransisco Twin Peaks, a couple of bald spots on top of a 900-foot hill in the center of the bustling city. Of course there was nothing to see, but with wind gales blowing the misty rain sideways, it almost felt like the top of a real mountain.
Jen and I drove to Salt Lake City today. Geoff flew to New York to visit his family. I've been working on a post about his Miwok race and my future plans. There is much to tell.