(Events of Saturday April 25th, blogged Thursday, April 30th)
(Side Note: I really hate being behind because the posts lose so much of their immediacy, and I have to recreate how I was feeling at the time, and half of it has been spoilered on FaceBook, and someday they need to invent worldwide cell service/WiFi.)
SNOW! OMG!OMG!OMG! There is SNOW all over Marigold when I awake! And SNOW falling from the skies and on to the trees! And SNOW making this incredible scenery unbelievably picture postcard wondrous! SNOW!
And… OMG! It’s falling really fast! And I need to get out of there today! And I have NO idea how a campervannie drives in these sort of conditions. And since I don’t think anyone was expecting this, I doubt the roads have been treated. SNOW! So I quicklikeabunny retrieve all my food from the bear locker, toss my chair in the back and head off to the park store for some proper snow gloves and to get a read on things.
The place is abuzz with excitement. As I walk in I ask a guy shoveling snow for his thoughts on the roads. I heard words like “chains” and “Level One” but the rest was so unintelligible it wasn’t even worth it to ask him to repeat. Inside I sought out the counsel of a cashier. She said that the roads were TERRIBLE and it was FORBIDDEN to drive without snow chains, punishable by a hefty fine, until you got to the “141” which would take at least a half hour in her opinion. Now I don’t have snow chains, don’t know anything about snow chains, and didn’t relish the thought of the hassle and expense for a half hour of driving. And then I recalled (as I often have on this trip) the advice of my friend Andrew who said “The main two things are to Have Fun and Be Safe. If you’re doing one, make sure you’re also doing the other.” And at 45 I really shouldn’t need to remember someone else telling me to be safe, but it has made me take a few more precautions than I normally would. So I went over to the garage. Where, after a time, the nice gentleman informed me that they were OUT of snow shoes in Marigold’s size. Of course. Well, I tried, and they can’t fine me for something I can’t obtain right? As I left, he also told me that the “141” actually started at the stop sign a block away, so I should be fine in that regard.
As I drove out of the park, it was hard to keep my eyes on the road with scenes like this all around me…
But before too long, as I went further down in elevation, the snow gradually shifted to rain, and I waved a fond farewell to Yosemite…
And was left to ponder… is there anything more forlorn than a solitary flip flop in the snow?
As we drove west, we watched the scenery shift away from Alpine forest, and I peeled off layers of clothing (including the unnecessary snow gloves) as the temperature kept rising.
As the adrenaline rush faded from the morning’s excitement and the long drive began to wear I decided we needed a bit of a pick-me-up. And what trip to the West Coast is complete without an In N Out burger…served animal style of course!
The In N Out parking lot was a crowded noisy nightmare, so I drove around a bit trying to find a tranquil spot to dine. Whatever this random town was clearly lacked such niceties, and we were forced to settle for the pack of the van in the parking lot of a questionable looking party supply store. Such is life on the road. Annie remained true to form, and despite being doused in tasty sauce and meat drippings, politely declined the vegetable toppings.(I downloaded the wrong picture-this one shows the bun, which she also ate, but it does have her cute little tongue, whereas the other one was just a sad tomato slice and limp bit of lettuce on a napkin.)
Tired and frazzled, we finally hit the Bay Bridge and were rolling into San Francisco! Lacking only the requisite flowers in our hair!
I figured we both needed some fresh air and to stretch our paws a bit, so the first stop was Fort Funston. Perched on bluffs above the ocean, and originally a harbor defense sight for the San Francisco Bay during the Cold War, it’s now a really cool dog park where obedient pups can frolic off leash, and others can… have a nice walk.
It was BEYOND windy, but we poked around on top of the cliffs, wandered down to the beach, and enjoyed some lovely views of the city in the distance. There were loads of other dogs there, and it looked like a lovely place to linger… in calmer weather.
By now we were growing hungry once again, and, as luck would have it, I happened to know of a happening little sports bar that has customers spilling into the streets by 5pm! The famed and acclaimed Giordano Bros (#2)
The place was hopping and packed to the gills, but I managed to get a prosecco and personal welcome from the owner himself-Adam DeMezza (brother of my dear friend Mia). I couldn’t stay long, but highly recommend the yummy sandwiches and laid back yet energized atmosphere if you’re ever in the Mission District.
Adam gave me a tip on driving up to nearby Twin Peaks for the best views of the city. Which was an excellent suggestion and did, in fact, produce the desired views (although viewed through winds at about Warp Factor One Billion), but MYHAPS inadvisable on one and a half glasses of Prosecco on VERY narrow and VERY steep and windy streets, and I MAY now have a passenger side mirror which is lacking the minor detail of a mirror. Onward!
The weary travelers made their way at last to the adorable Marina Motel which has a cute little courtyard and a kitchenette and is very near Fisherman’s Wharf. Family owned and reasonably priced-couldn’t ask for a better spot to make our newest temporary home.