San Francisco, California

July 27th - 28th

South side of the Golden Gate Bridge as seen from Fort Point National Historic Site

Hilda (from Ireland and our waitress) and John at Bubba Gumps Seafood Company and Restaurant at Fisherman´s Wharf

Alcatraz Island as seen from Fisherman´s Wharf

Powell and Mason Street Car - Notice the good looking vehicle in the foreground

Sissy posing for a pic at Seal Rocks

Saturday morning started off great with an early start and plans to head into San Francisco on the bike. One look at the news however, told us to change plans and head to Muir Woods instead. There had been an accident on the bridge, and traffic was back up for miles. Oh well, we headed to the campground office for advice after showering (John had plenty of water this time) and getting dressed. The nice lady inside told us traffic is always bad and to go ahead and take the bike into San Fran for the day; we would have a great time. So that´s exactly what we did.

The clouds were rolling in and it was a little cool on the north side of the bridge. We saw that traffic had thinned out a bit, so we headed across. Then, it was time to pay the toll ($3.00 southbound only). Yup, you guessed it. Sissy had the money underneath layers and layers of clothing. She had to get off the bike at the toll plaza (traffic was backing up) undress herself and then hand the toll taker the bills. Then ... she had to get dressed and back on the bike so we could start moving again. John was surprised though because nobody honked their horns, and the toll taker told Sissy to take her time and let the other cars wait. Go figure.

Fort Point was our first stop as it was just on the other side of the bridge. We drove through Presidio to get there, and took pics of the bridge and surfers catching waves. It was surprising how large the waves were and how close the surfers got to the rocks. Maybe that´s why some of them wore helmets! Then it was to the marina just down the street.

The crookedest street in the world - Lombard Street

We drove around a little before arriving at Fisherman´s Wharf. We tried to park on the street but the meter sites were full. A parking lot we pulled into didn´t allow motorcycles, so we opted for the Pier 39 parking garage which a friend of ours (Skip) had told us about. Then it was to Fisherman´s Wharf and lunch. We elected to eat at Bubba Gump´s Seafood Company & Restaurant as it was on the end of the pier and gave us an hour of free parking in the garage. John had Bubba Gump´s Bucket of Boat Trash (Shrimp, Lobster, Fries) and Sissy had Mamma Blue´s Southern Fried Shrimp (Shrimp and Fries). Hilda (from Ireland) a college student and good looking honey, was our waitress. She made us feel right at home and even posed for some pics.

After walking the wharf for a bit and buying some gifts for friends and ourselves, we headed to the parking garage and some more bike riding. While getting our things ready (leathers zipped up, helmets on, et cetera) Sissy asked John if he had her sunglasses. John, surprised at Sissy as usual, said NOPE. Yes, you do - she said! No, I don´t - he said! On and on and on that went for about 5 minutes until Sissy realized they were on her face. John knew that all along, but simply wanted her to figure it out for herself. Pets do need re-training every now and then.

Surfer dudes catching waves underneath the Golden Gate Bridge at Fort Point

The World´s crookedest street on Lombard was next on the agenda. John wanted to drive it on the bike, but Sissy was a little hesitant. She was a real trooper though and just held on (like she had a choice on the back of the bike). To our surprise, you could only drive downhill and at 5 MPH (more like 1 MPH), but we did it and then parked at the bottom for pics. Then it was onto Telegraph Hill & Coit Tower on the next hill to the east. Parking there wasn´t bad, we just had to wait about 15 minutes for an available space. Once parked, we were able to get some excellent pics of the bay area and the San Francisco Oakland Bay Bridge.

Next, it was a drive through Chinatown, Knob Hill, Union Square and Market Street. The streets were crowded with tourists and buses but we managed without a problem. We saw all kinds of folks along the way including many homeless or wanna be homeless. One guy even asked us if we wanted to contribute to the Bacon and Cheeseburger fund.

San Francisco looking west from Telegraph Hill and Coit Tower

San Francisco´s Civic Center, Haight Ashbury and the Golden Gate Park were next. The park is the largest man-made park in the United States and we can both attest to that. It had everything Lawn Bowling, Golf Course, Archery Range, Riding Stables, Concerts, Picnic Areas, Flower Gardens and on and on and on.

Queen Wilhelmina Garden at the western entrance to Golden Gate Park

Before heading out of San Fran we wanted to visit Cliff House and Seal Rocks on the Pacific Ocean for pics. We did that for a short period then it was back through town and the Golden Gate Bridge. Going through the General Douglas MacArthur Tunnel was interesting especially since we had sunglasses on. John, of course, wanted to let everyone know he was going through so he got on the throttle a bit. Harleys are wonderfully sounding machines!

It was hold on time going across the Golden Gate Bridge this time because the wind had kicked up to about 35 MPH. A steady breeze we don´t mind, but the gusts were causing us to go all over the road. John slowed down and Sissy held on tighter as we went up and down the hills toward our campground. She was a real trooper, again. John just smiled and said Wow - what a ride!

Our final day in San Fran included a truck ride across the bay to Berkeley and it´s marina park where we took pics of kite flying. Apparently, they were having a contest because there were many different kinds and shapes; some as big as 10 feet long. Then, it was south through Oakland and onto Hayward where John used to live many moons ago. After driving around a bit, we finally located his old high school (Tennyson) and his home on Minerva Street. Memories came back and John located the railroad tracks he used to have to walk on going to and coming home from school. He also located the baseball field where he broke his ankle the first time (6 in all). The locals were having a softball game at the time.

Next, it was over the San Mateo Bridge and back through San Fran (downtown) to the Golden Gate and the northwest side for pics. We wanted a trip to Muir Woods as well, so up into the hills and toward the coast we went. The trees were huge, and the crowds were enormous (Sunday afternoon). We opted to park in the lot, have lunch and then head back to our campground. Fighting the crowds on this, our last day in San Fran was not in the cards.

It was an early night, skipping dinner (our friend Tommy said John was having too much prime rib), so off to sleep before dark it was. Besides, we wanted an early start in the morning to head north toward the Redwood National Park.

John & Sissy EXCLUSIVE RATINGS: (1 bad - good 10)

  • Campground - 8
  • People - 10
  • Roads - 9
  • Scenery - 10
  • Traffic - 10
  • Things to Do - 10
  • Weather - 7

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