Mesa to Pitt 2015

Mesa to Pitt 2015
Mesa to OBX

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Central San Fransisco to Half Moon Bay November 14

November 14....the day started of with a photo shoot by a lady writing an article for the Yachtsman Magazine who is doing a story on our travels. She struck up a conversation with Pam before I got there, and one thing led to another. Now, we are getting our story in this magazine, which is a local Delta magazine. I'm not sure what the circulation is, but I know it's not TIME magazine.  She gave us a copy of an older edition, and it is a nice quality magazine. Anyhow, we were flattered by the attention, and "Shelia Tequila", the enthusiastic writer, knows a good story when she finds it!
Pam delivered me to the BART station, and I got to the Embarkadero stop at about 11:30. Downtown was less crowded than the other times we were there, so the ride was less stressful than when I came in to town. I rode along the piers and Fishermans Wharf, Fort Mason, to Golden Gate Park. Fog had set in, and I couldn't even come close to seeing the bridge. I stopped at the National Historic Park at the bridge and got a stamp in the Passport book that we have gotten stamped at every national park we've been to since Buddy was born. Then the fun began.
 I studied the ACA map, a map out of our atlas, and a map online last night, because getting through San Fransisco and out of the southwest side of it seemed really confusing. I started by going south, through a part of the Golden Gate park called The Presidio, which is a historical, possibly old military park, that I really don't know much about. It took a while to get a feel for the place, and once I got my bearings, I just put away the maps and went on memory from what I studied the night before. It all came together like a puzzle, and I navigated The Presidio, a section of town, and another section of Golden Gate Park, which was a huge green space with tons of trails and roads around trees and flowers, lawns and lakes for people to enjoy. There was a large homeless population, but the place seemed safe when I went through it. It reminded me a little of Central Park in New York.
I rode near the University of San Fransisco , and near the San Fransisco Zoo, and popped out right on the Pacific Ocean, on a road called the Great Highway. It wasn't very far from the Golden Gate Bridge, even though it took me a while to navigate the route that the ACA recommended. There was a shorter, more direct way, along the Lincoln Parkway, but the things I saw, including the occasional view of downtown, made it worth the extra effort. The ACA maps really do try to keep you off the beaten path, on safer and scenic roads. They were worth getting, even though they sometimes look confusing at first, they really do a great job.
The Great Highway had sand dunes and beach accesses on one side, and metro San Fransisco  suburbs on the other. It was quite unique and interesting. Soon enough, I was nearing Daly City, and a huge climb up California Rt. 35 towards Skyline Drive. Daly City is built on a mountain, 600 ft above the Pacific Ocean, with sheer cliffs and fantastic views. I even saw a hang glider who was skirting the cliffs, but he was out over the ocean. That must have been amazing. It was cool and windy up on that hill, with temps that were only supposed to go into the mid fifties, anyhow. Once I got over the hill, there was a screaming downhill, back to sea level and the town of Pacifica. The Great Highway and the roads through Daly City and Pacifica were very bike friendly, and traffic was surprisingly sparse. 
As I rode through Pacifica, I remember looking up, and seeing a huge mountain, and wondering 'How am I going to get around THAT?' I started to climb, the road lost its shoulder, started to twist, and I had a major danger area on my hands. Fortunately, traffic was still light, and I came around a bend, and saw a tunnel. So that's how I'm getting around the mountain! I'm going through it! The tunnel was long, but it was well lit, and had one car lane, and one bicycle lane, about six feet wide. It was state of the art, looked pretty new, and was the safest tunnel I've ever ridden through. I rode a few more miles on the cliffs, and descended back to sea level. The stretch of excitement lasted about five-six miles, and was I was soon riding along the beach again, riding through one small town after another.  Montara turned into Moss Beach, which turned into El Granada, which turned into Half Moon Bay. I grabbed the first motel I saw, had a Chinese restaurant dinner, and rested up for a bigger day tomorrow.

Approaching tunnel between Pacifica and Montera

Entering tunnel with bike lane and lights!  Excellent!

Point Montara lighthouse

Brussels sprout field - 3 stages of harvesting in one field

Close up of harvesters

Crab traps in foreground, marina in background in El Granada, near Half Moon Bay

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