In the mean time, we are cycling up the coast again and have reached Eureka. More about this later. Before we crossed the Central Valley a second time and visited San Francisco.
Yosemite – Merced – Modesto – Hayward
Because it didn’t work out with hitch hiking across Tioga pass, we took the bus back to Merced. I had pretty mixed feelings about this part in the other direction… We weren’t very happy to be back in Merced but looked ahead anyway. And because we were back in the heat of the Central Valley, we got up early again. First we drove to Modesto and from there towards the Corral Hollow pass. The scenery on the way wasn’t that great. We drove along agriculture fields and passed an old landfill at the end. But before, we got stopped by a police guy. He told me, that I have to drive on the right end of the side path (where the street was very bad) and that we anyway are not allowed to drive on this street anymore because it’s going to be a freeway. We would had to change the street before. Unfortunately, both was not marked so we couldn’t really know… Anyway, he told us which roads we have to take and left. But just to wait on the next cross road to make sure, that we are leaving the road.
Over night, we stayed at the Carnegie State Vehicular Recreation Area. This was not just a normal park. Here people could drive around with their quads and motor bikes. So we with our bicycles were a bit exotic at this place… However, the ranger was very nice and he offered us to fill up our water bottles at the tank in their office.
At the next morning, we continued our journey across the pass towards San Francisco. Just before Livermore, we were passed by whole groups of cyclists on their race bikes. We saw more cyclists here than on the whole trip before. This area seems really to be different. We continued to the local REI for checking tents again. But the ones we wanted to see were not locally available. However, the guys there were so friendly to reserve two in San Francisco. And when they heard that we are cycling up to Alaska, we also got some free power bar samples. That was nice :-).
Hayward – Alameda/Oakland – San Francisco
We stayed over night at a Motel for doing some laundry and continued the next morning. We reached the San Francisco Bay near Hayward and drove along it towards Oakland. It’s not so easy to cross the bay on bikes because they are not allowed on the big bridges. We planned therefore to take the ferry. When we arrived in Harbour Bay, we had to learn that this ferry only operates during the week and today was Sunday. You loose kind of track of time if your are cycling for such a long time. Luckily, there was another ferry in Alameda/Oakland which also ships on weekends.
Today was also the solar eclipse. Yes, the one we wanted to see in Reno. I had no idea if something will also be visible and I checked the sun with my Filter protected camera. Nothing so far. Also if Google Sky showed the opposite (check the pictures in the Gallery). After a short ride, we reached the harbor in San Francisco. The first thing we wanted to see, were the cable cars. Therefor, we drove up the California street where they should be driving. Somehow we forgot, that those cable cars are driving where the hills are. We didn’t drive on a street before on our trip which was that steep… A bit exhausted, we reached the hostel “Adelaide” and continued after a short break to the local REI. But before, I checked the sun again and yes, the moon started to shield the sun partially. I couldn’t believe it, that I would still be able to see at least something. After a few pictures, we we went into REI to test out tents. And we even found two. So from now on we will have a bit more space :-). When we left the store, REI employees were showing the solar eclipse to interested customers by using two sheet of paper with one having a small hole in it. That worked pretty well! The maximum of the eclipse was reached and I made a few final pictures.
During the next few days, we played tourist and drove multiple times with the cable car (we for sure used the 21 dollar CityPass pretty well), visited Alcatraz, the Japanese garden, multiple piers, the Coit tower, off course the Golden Gate Bridge and ate good food. After this, we had enough of the city life and continued our journey towards north. A few days too early for celebrating the 75 anniversary of the Golden Gate bridge.
Our next big destination is Seattle, where we are going to rent a car for visiting Yellowstone, Mount St. Hellens and a few places more. So there is still a lot to come. I will write more about the journey along the coast in the next blog entry.
Hear you later,
As usually, the pictures can be found in the Gallery.