When I woke up Monday morning and got in my car heading west from Las Vegas, things suddenly got real. This was now the final leg of my trip; in about 9 hours I would be off the road and in my new "home" town. Holy crap. I was excited and full of energy.. I was ready to see new, beautiful things; I was ready to find out how this long odyssey was going to conclude! But as I got closer to the state line, I realized there was a part of me that didn't want the road trip to stop, a part that just wanted to keep driving for months, maybe years, like that one time Forest Gump just kept run-ning. Me and Foxy the car had seen a lot between Jersey and Vegas, but there was still so much more to see.. I could go to San Francisco, stop for a week, and then head north and then east and then south, and then wherever the wind took me next. I could do this. Money would be a problem, but I could do this! Ahh, but there was an even bigger part of me that craved stability and the comforts of home; a part of me that had been wanting to stop and settle and breath deep and relax for a long time.. probably since I left Vegas the first time over a year ago. As usual, as may be the crux of the human condition, I was of two minds, a man divided. Was it fear that made me want to keep driving? Was I afraid of failure in San Francisco.. or, worse, was I afraid of success? Maybe. Is it possible to have commitment issues with yourself?? Yes, I think so.
Nevertheless, once I saw the World's Largest Thermometer, seen above, and the exit for Zzyzx Road, I knew I had crossed the border and the excitement of finally being in California replaced, at least temporarily, whatever reluctance I was having about completing my trip. I couldn't wait to get there and my mind was racing so much that I hardly remember the rest of the drive through the deserts of California. I remember at one point I passed a cow farm bigger than any I had seen in Texas.. there were cows packed tight for what seemed like miles! The rest is honestly a blur until I hit the Bay Bridge (which, as I write this, has been completely shut down for a week because large chunks of steel were literally falling off of it! But that's a different story). As I crossed the bridge I got my first look at what, for at least the forseeable future, would be my city. It was beautiful! They weren't kidding.
Danie and Jesse's house, but it was far enough for me to have to dodge cable cars and go up the steepest hill I've ever driven on. Scary on both accounts! Those cable cars roll right down the middle of the frickin' street! You know, as if they were cars.. What kind of crazy town is this? But I found their place unscathed, quickly off-loaded some of my stuff (just enough to allow someone to squeeze into the passenger seat.. barely), and set out to find a parking spot. Here's Danie and Foxy on the steep ass hill where my car still rests today, some three weeks and two parking tickets later (who knew you had to get a parking permit? Well, I guess we knew, but it turns out I am not as above the law as I thought). Anyway, as with any big city, good parking spots are not to be given up willy-nilly.. So, I ain't driving anywhere if I can help it.
The next day I began playing tourist in earnest. The first thing I did was walk to the Ferry Building on The Embarcadero.. I had to see the sea! I sat on the dock of the bay, wasting time, as it were, and took stock.. the journey had been long and winding, but now I was looking at the Pacific Ocean (I understand it was the Bay, but close enough). There was a gentle breeze and the air smelled clean.. I remember thinking life was good! I sat there for a while, I didn't want to leave. Maybe because I knew I'd have to walk back uphill to go home... how is it that there seems to be more uphills than downhills?! I am still working on getting my San Francisco legs. Before I left The Emarcadero, I took a picture of a nice Asian tourist and then he offered to take my picture, too. I couldn't refuse.. There I am at the end of a pier with the famous Transamerica Pyramid building in the background. Shortly after that I became fascinated by the below seagull and took about a million pictures of her (it's a girl, duh). That boat is named the "San Francisco Spirit" and that's the also famous Coit Tower in the background. Scenic.