Yo San Fran, Yosemite

Yosemite National Park, California

One of the big waypoints, San Francisco, has now been passed and I can confirm that I am more a countryside kinda guy than I am a city slicker.

Northern California has gone by in a flash and was quite different to the wilds of Washington and Oregon. The far north was great, and the Shoreline Highway was fun to ride – it was great to see the Pacific Ocean from the US side after having seen it from Russian side a few months ago (that’s technically wrong – I think I actually saw the Sea of Japan at Vladivostok, but who’s checking?).

After being graciously hosted by some long-time friends just north of San Francisco (thanks Rachael, Richard and family!) I made tracks for perhaps the most iconic bridge in the world – the Golden Gate Bridge. Yeah!


Fog. Lots of fog. It was like Victorian Londond in that I could barely see above the deck of the bridge. Hey ho. I still rode the briidge and it was all good fun. It just means there was no way to get a good photo of it all. Still, as cool bridge as it is, it is only a bridge, and there’s plenty more of the world left for me to see and photograph.

Lombard Street in San Francisco was fun. If you ever need to properly scare yourself in the morning, ride a heavily laden motorbike down the wiggly bit at the end of Lombard Street without looking like you’ve just bitten off more than you can chew. At first sight it looks just liike a steep decent/slalom street (which it is). However, once you’re comitted to the adventure, you realise that the road is not made of asphalt, but is instead made of lots of well polished bricks. Aaaaarrrrggghhhh! I would not like to try that in the rain. Thankfully (for me, not for the locals), California is experiencing a severe drought, and all that happened was that I am now in a bunch of Japanese folk’s holiday photo albums.


Being a software geek-type, I made my pilgrimage to Palo Alto and Mountain View (tech-central), but that proved to be a bit silly. The best way to see those sights is probably with Google Street View. Once you’ve seen ten McDonalds and twelve fortune-telling palm-reading shops, it is definitely time to escape the urban chaos and get back into the real world of trees, mountains and muck.

Yosemite Park is gorgeous – a much welcome contrast to yesterday’s escape from Mountain View by the freeway at rush hour. Rather sadly, everybody needs to camp at designated official campgrounds (no wild camping), but I can understand why. This is unspoiled land, save only the road that brings you to the campsite and the ‘bear boxes’ used for keeping food safe.

Again with the bears, and I still don’t have any bear-repellant.

Oh, and in northern California (at the end of the dirt track called Usal Road) I managed to take a photo of an Elk sticking his tongue out 🙂

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