Most of today was pretty boring (and frustrating). We lost another wheel cover, left our locking gas cap at the gas station and spent a good hour trying to tighten the mirrors on Lady T. It was just after 6 PM as we approached the Bay Bridge on the edge of San Francisco and we found ourselves in near dead stop traffic. There were so many cars trying to get on the bridge that I was beginning to appreciate driving in Boston! Other drivers were kind of rude and wouldn’t allow us to switch into the cash lane for the tolls for several minutes. A decent person finally let us in just as we approached the booth.
We knew at the very least, we had to see the Golden Gate Bridge. Jazz set the GPS for Golden Gate Park and we prayed that we would find someplace to park. As we entered the city, the pace quickened considerably and the roads got a bit hairy. I thought we would be fine and miss most of the hills that San Fran is known for… I was wrong! Following the GPS, we made a left turn and the fun began. We drove up one hill, two, three, four, and on the fifth and highest we had to stop at a red light! The brake pedal almost went through the floor and Jasmine almost cried. I told her to put her foot on the gas and the brakes and just gun it when the light turned green. Like a pro, she got us off the hill and what could have been a really bad scene…for the cars behind us! We made it to Golden Gate Park with brakes intact and hearts pumping.
Jazz said she couldn’t leave San Fran without walking the Haight/Ashbury district. Haight and Ashbury Streets were ground zero for the hippie counter-culture in the late 1960’s. Young people from all over the world gravitated here to experience the “Summer of Love” in ‘67 and the area was home to The Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane & Janis Joplin, to name a few. We visited 710 Ashbury Street where the “Grateful Dead house” still stands.
We walked Haight for a while and Jazz said it was exactly how she had always imagined it would be. There were smoke shops, dive bars, hippie couture boutiques and small eateries. The area is still home to many hippies and homeless people. We stopped for a few minutes and chatted with a young couple sitting on the street and talked about their two beautiful Pitbulls. We stopped in a place called “Jammin on Haight” and Jazz was excited to buy a cool tie-dyed t-shirt. After that, we stopped at a Thai restaurant called Siam Lotus and has some wicked Pad Thai and Mango Chicken.
It was getting late and we still hadn’t seen the Golden Gate Bridge. We found a route that would take us across the bridge as we left the city and we hoped there would be a turn off for a viewing spot. We were driving up a small hill and all of a sudden, the bridge was right in front of us…and it was massive! Luckily, there was a rest area/scenic viewing spot so we stopped and I took a bunch of photos. It was cool to see the city at night. You see photographs but it’s nothing compared to seeing it in person.
Reno, Nevada is our next stop so we hit the road and drove as long as we could stay awake, which ended up being about 2 AM. Parking for the night at another safety rest area and will be on the road again in the morning heading towards Lake Tahoe.
If you’re going to San Francisco, be sure to wear a flower in your hair…and take a car!