...this land was made for you and me
24.09.2014 - 25.09.2014 28 °C
Well I rode that ribbon highway
I saw above me the endless skyway
I saw below me the golden valley
This land was made for you and me
I couldn't help but remember this song by Woodie Guthrie the other day when I was actually riding that ribbon highway from the redwood forest all the way down to San Francisco.
As good old Bruce put it, "it's just about one of the most beautiful songs ever written", and by the way if you ask me, his rendition of the song from the Live '75-'85 album just nails it.
Anyway, I started the third day of the road trip from Crescent City, CA and rode all the way down to San Francisco. It was again a long drive (about 600 km with the detours), and again worth the effort. I rode through scenic road through the redwoods near the town of Klamath, and then again south of Eureka, through the well known "Avenue of the giants" road. There, in the Humboldt Redwoods State Park I spent a few hours strolling through the redwoods and the groves, and trying to find the famous "giant tree" seen in Return of the Jedi movie. It is a well known fact that some of the scenes for the Star Wars speeder bike chase sequence were filmed here, and at one point of my search I met a group of people from Germany also looking for the same tree. We joined forces and after some time found it:
While not sure about the measures of this particular tree, mature Sequoias grow to more than 100 meters high, average over 500 years old, with some documented to have lived over 2000 years. They are among the tallest and longest living organisms on the earth, and as such they evoke the feelings of deep respect and humbleness. The forests have an unbeliavable scent, and sometimes it "rains branches" as my fellow German explorers put it: thousands of really small branches literally fall from the heights above as if it was raining.
After the forests, the ride to San Francisco was not so eventful, but one thing to note is how shocked I was upon the arrival, at the density of the traffic: it was late in the evening, maybe around 9PM and the traffic was really crazy, which is something I guess never changes: the next day I was exploring the city and I just couldn't wait to park somewhere and get rid of the car, as the traffic was unbearable. Not surprisingly I guess, if you learn the fact that city has about 850,000 permanent residents, but it fills up to about 1,5 million with all the workers from the surrounding areas.
So I parked at the well known attraction - the Fisherman's Wharf, which reminded me in a way of Seattle's Pike Place Market: a lot of shops, restaurants, people, merchandise, you name it. Very alive and very charming. Even a colony of sea lions have taken a residence near of the piers there!
After trying out some famous San Francisco sourdough bread from Boudin's, I wanted to check out the Alcatraz island... only to find out the tour has to be booked weeks in advance, so I missed it (payed the price of my lack of preparation right there). Suddenly I had a few extra hours to spend, so I decided to be a typical tourist and hopped on a bus tour of the city, which was okay I guess, as I learned quite a few of the interesting stories and facts about the city and its history.
Okay I think enough is said, and some pictures are in order...as Bono once said after a long monologue at the concert: "Am I bugging you? Don't mean to, bug you. Okay Edge, play the blues!"
The forest moon of Endor:
Down the road to San Francisco:
A panoramic view of the city:
The fisherman's wharf:
Wrapped it up with a few nightshots.