Day 19, October 29, 1997: Pacifica to Mountain View, CA

Yesterday I said that I wouldn't be doing much traveling today. Well, that might have been an understatement since I did a lot of driving around, just didn't make any progress down the edge.

Finding a motel room, at least a relatively affordable one, that I liked proved to be difficult. I had figured that getting out of Pacifica and up to Silicon Valley again would make things easier but it seems that something of a motel room crunch is developing up here too. I finally lucked into a nice room in a new motel, and although it wasn't a non-smoking room as I normally require, it was so new that it hadn't acquired any odors to make my allergies act up.

Beyond moving, today was taken up with San Francisco. I drove back up to the city and parked in my "sure thing" free parking area at the Exploratorium. I did the museum tour and took a few pictures at the Palace of Fine Arts (this is one of the other obligatory photos that all tourists must take) and then took off on a walk down the waterfront.

All told, I probably walked at least three miles down past the marina, the green, and Fort Mason (and back of course which wasn't nearly as much fun). This is a great walk for admiring the eclectic architecture in the city. Since I don't know anybody with enough money to actually afford one of these homes (actually if everybody I know put their money together, they could probably only afford the cheapest among them) I have never seen the inside of one. The outsides sure are pretty, though.

I had arranged to meet Lehua for a drink and a nosh out at Cliff House by Seal Rocks. I had plenty of time to get there but my city navigation skills proved not to be up to the task. After bumbling around for a half hour, I bowed to the inevitable and got the laptop out of the trunk and hooked it up to the GPS. It got me on the right track (and more importantly to Geary Street) and I was able to find my way after that. The area of Cliff House was completely new to me although I used to live only a short distance away. This is a great loss to me as this coastal area is fascinating - I really regret getting there after it was so dark. It must be sensational during the day and at sunset. I also discovered some unexpected wildlife virtually at the restaurant's door. It was too dark to see the seals, assuming they were out on their rocks, but right in front of me was a (herd? pack? mob?) of city raccoons. They would let me get within five feet of them, but since I offered no food they limited me to that.

Well, Lehua had our bit of time to talk away from her job but it was soon over and time to find my way back south to the motel. Driving in the evening proved to be a bit less painful than during the daytime and I got through without getting lost or injured.

Pictures for today are two of the other obligatory San Francisco landmarks that anybody, even those who have never been here, will recognize...

Tomorrow we will get back on the move and continue our 12,000-mile tour of the edge of the USA by heading down the coast again.


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