date = 2010-11-01
distance = 29.7
Today was a day for hitting up some San Francisco sites and shopping for
some gear that we needed. First stop was REI (the American MEC). Next
we went to the ferry building where we had coffee with Joanna, Dan and
their children. They are a family from Vancouver who also happened to
be in San Francisco.
After that we rode our bikes part way up telegraph hill. Most tourists
visit this site to get great views of the city and harbour. But we were
also hoping to catch a glimpse of the wild parrots made famous in the
documentary film that we had recently watched with Carol and Maryanne. A
vendor informed us that we were late. The parrots usually stop by early
in the morning.
We headed back down the hill for lunch at an Italian cafe in North
Beach, the little Italy neighbourhood. Tasty pasta fired us up for a
trip up and down Lombard St.
We stopped at the bottom of Lombard, one of the steepest hills in the
city. In fact the block at the crest is so steep that instead of a
straight street they have used switchbacks. The block is a popular
tourist destination - the "crooked" street.
Earlier in the day Karen had expressed a desire for a day's rest from
hard cycling so I expected we would simply gaze up at the steep street
from afar and move on. But no, Karen wanted to bike up the several
blocks of steep street.
As we approached the switchbacks on our bikes we were applauded by
tourists on foot. At least we provided some entertainment for them.
The "crooked" street section is one way. We had to carry our bikes up
the stairways that served as sidewalks. I suggested we stop half way
but Karen pressed on to the top. And then we rode the bikes down the
After that Karen suggested we find some more hills aka "views" but she
was suddenly distracted by an interesting sound.
Could it be.....
Yes, we had found the parrots! We caught glimpses of a few of them
flying and roosting.
We went to explore the Polk Street neighbourhood and then rode down to
the civic plaza. A crowd had gathered in front of a large screen to
watch the final game of the world series.
We tarried there for a short while (the score was still 0-0) and then it
was off to chase the sunset. Karen suggested watching from Twin Peaks
with another ride through the pan handle of Golden Gate park. But
partway there we decided to have ice cream and lo and behold was the Ben
and Jerry's store at Haight and Ashbury. The sun settled as we shared a
sundae in the shop window. Early evening upon us we headed part way
down "the wiggle" but veered off to the Castro for a quick dinner of
Fish Tacos (wild caught Salmon). That was where we were when the game
ended and the crowds poured into the streets.
We watched Giants fans decorate the overhead trolley lines and the
police eventually shut down the streets to cars. Then we rode back to
the hostel and spent some more time with the crowds who had also
congregated along Market Street downtown.