But the drive there was full of vineyards, nut plantations and other orchards. That was cool to see. We even saw orange and persimmon trees! Oooh, tropically. But despite the exotic fruits, the first thing to really tell me that we were in a big city was this.
Night one in San Jose, CA we had a lovely dinner at Mike's (thanks, Pat!) and sampled some mighty brews.
And the next day, it rained. We sat on the couch all day and watched 8 movies in a row. More movies than I have watched in the last eight years. But it was a good day for it. We didn’t have to feel so bad. Our heads did that for us.
Sunday was sunny San Francisco day (which I hear is quite rare for SF). I was taken aback by the drive from San Jose to San Fran on Hwy. 280. It was all green and hills and trees! Oh my! It was peaceful and pleasant for half and hour in between cities. That was refreshing. It’s nice to see so much land preserved around there.
In San Fran, we walked over the Golden Gate Bridge, and checked out a couple overlooks to get views of the ocean, bridges and city. Nice, but uh, the Mackinac Bridge is a way bigger suspension bridge. Yeah. Go Michigan!
Soon we parked and walked to Pier 39 which is like a circus! Cotton candy, rides, music -- all that entertainy stuff. We headed to Fisherman’s Wharf from there where we grabbed a quick lunch. Then to Buena Vista for one of their world famous Irish coffees. They use Tullamore Dew. It really was that good.
From there we tinkered around to China Town, but it was dark by then, so we found our way to the car and went back to Mike’s place.
Monday, we finally got to ride our bikes at Soquel Demonstration State Park. I’m glad Mike didn’t tell me what kind of ride we were doing because I probably wouldn’t have gone. After driving around the area for an hour, we finally found the trail. Ha ha. Ha.
So we got a late start. But we were feeling all revved up and ready to climb. And climb we did. Up and up 4.2 miles on a fire road. It really wasn’t too bad, though. Thank goodness. Then we had our half an hour descent on the singletrack. I mean, this was a-a-a-all downhill. We hardly had to pedaled at all. And steep! I spent a lot of time clutching my brakes over those wet rocks and roots. What a technical challenge! Then up again. I don't even know how far, but man, I was tired after that climb. Then downdiggity down.
But wait! Trickery! Up one more time? It’s already getting dark! That MIke, he got us good. But at least we were climbing up fire roads in the dark, so we had more of a margin for error. We made it home alive -- unscathed.
And today? Today we made it to Kingman, Arizona through mountains and the Mojave Desert. Here is a sign we saw on our way to grab dinner that evening. We loved it because we were not going to any of those fancy places. See you after Sedona, AZ!