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Spring Road Trip, Day 2 – Portland to San Francisco

April 29, 2009

dscn6684I left the Portland Hostel at 8:00am for San Francisco.  The drive south of Portland was much as I remember it, fairly boring.  Southern Oregon gets pretty hilly.  Coming down from the hills and into California it flattens out a bit and I could see bits of Mount Shasta through the clouds in the distance.  As I got closer, the clouds started to clear but the top remained obstructed.  Still, it is pretty impressive.  I5 runs right by it and I drove for over an hour and it was still… just right… there.

Much of northern California is flat and boring.  Through a haze, I could make out the silhouette of mountains to the east and the west.  My podcasts (60 minutes, NPR’s Talk of the Nation and others) kept me occupied.  As I neared San Fran, I cut off on I505 and skirted the Napa Valley.  Lots of rolling green hills with not much but short grass.  The GPS on my iPhone took me across the Bay Bridge, into downtown, along the waterfront, and to the San Francisco Hostel Fisherman’s Wharf here on the grounds of Fort Mason with a view of the bay, the Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz, and more.

The young woman behind the desk that checked me in was kind of surley, not pleasant at all, but I got checked in OK and stoped in at the cafe down the hall and had nice salad and pasta dish and then settled in in the common room to write.  The room is full of people from all over the world and I can’t understand a word anyone is saying.

On the way down, I noticed all sorts of things I could do on the way back, some I always wanted to but never got around to, even when I lived in Oregon.  The last time I saw Mount St. Helens was over 20 years ago, it might be interesting to see how things have changed.  There’s also Mount Ranier, Mount Hood, the Columbia River Gorge, Ashland and the Shakespere Festival, Crater Lake, Yosemite, Napa Valley… Oh what shall I do?

The drive was 11 hours, I’m tired and I think I’ll turn in soon.

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