Oct 10 2011

Day 11… San Francisco

This morning started with a mad dash to the airport. I used my Foreflight application on the ipad to check the weather and there was a huge front rolling in from the north east. I thought, shit if this hits Truckee, there will be snow again (they had a foot just last week) and I would be stuck here for a few days. I had to get out of here quick.

After taking off, the best option was to go south (after hitting some light drizzle) for a about 20 miles, climb to 17,000 ft to get above the clouds then headed west over the top of the mountains. The flight was only about 1 hour long, and after clearing the mountains and reaching the lower foot hills, a rapid decent was made (picking up a little ice at 12,000 ft) to warmer air and all was good. No more extremely high mountains to get over…Yah!! The rest of the trip will be a piece of cake now (or so I thought).

I flew into the Reid-Riverview airport, San Jose (just south of San Fran) and met Charles who is building a cozy 4. Charles is retired, so he had the whole day to just play.


After a quick lunch we took the train into San Fran, and sure enough the front I had just missed in Truckee hit the area and it started to drizzle. You know the Seattle light misty type that is wet and moist yet does not really get you wet.

I think the cable cars of San Fran are really cool. They are part of our history yet if someone tried to propose and build them today, the would be deemed unsafe and too dangerous for the general public.


We walked everywhere downtown… this is a picture of the restored ferry terminal building. My last job was historic preservationist and I love seeing the reuse of these old buildings.


It is still used as a passenger terminal and there are lots of neat shops inside.


In the fishermans wharf tourist area, San Fran made the decision to search all over the country to find and restore this style of old electric trollies. It seems each one is painted a different color. I really like the art/deco look like something out of the 1930’s.


I remember seeing Coit Tower featured in some old movies and asked Charles if he wanted to climb the hill to check out the view…. yikes what a mistake… You can just barely see it at in the center of the picture.. The tower is 210 ft tall and was built in 1933.


Well there were steps…


and more steps…


and more steps… I am hurting….


Finally, we came upon this sign… only 174 steps to go. Ouch, my gluts are burning by now and feel like I have just been to the gym. Charles is in amazing shape and is keeping up though we are both huffing now. We proceeded just like one would eat an elephant…. a little at a time.

Finally reaching the top we found the tower to be taller than I remembered.


I really wish the low clouds had lifted before we made it to the top, but still the view was awesome.


Inside the base of the building are 27 awesome wall murals of the every day life of working people of the time period. This is only one of the the many that completely adorned every wall.


No visit to San Fran is complete without a picture of the boats at the wharf.


This is a great fountain in Ghiradelli square. Naked mermaids. Just what one should have in a shopping plaza.


In this shop you can get some free samples of Ghiradelli chocolate where the company used to manufacture it. Now Ghiradelli just has an outlet store and some old equipment showing how it was made at the time. The chocolate here was just as good as my hometown Hershey, PA.


Whoopee! I finally made it to the Pacific ocean. Of coarse one needs to dip his hand in the water. As I was posing for the picture looking at the camera, a big wave caught me, and I spent the rest of the day walking around in soggy shoes. Ah the price of fame…


After a fantastic dinner at one of Charles’s favorite italian restaurants which was excellent! Kevin stopped by to chat and took us back to the train station in his electric car (Nissan Leaf). Wow, I really liked it. He gets about 80 miles of real world driving on a charge, and uses electric panels to charge it up…. How cool is that.


Off to home… Next stop is Tahachipi tomorrow.