Saturday, August 24, 2013

Sausalito, the Golden Gate and fast cars

August 22-24, 2013:

We drove over to Sausalito on Wednesday and toured the town.  We first walked through the marina area gawking at the large and expensive yacht's.  It is a beautiful town on the Bay just north of the Golden Gate Bridge that is definitely a bit upscale from our life style.  There are many artists, art galleries, fine stores and fine dinning.  We then drove out of town to look for a hiking trail that was supposed to go along the coast to the Golden Gate Bridge.  It took us a couple of passes to find it, but we eventually did and it was worth the search.  We picked up the Bay Trail along a road leading to the old WWII Military Battery.  The trail went downhill to the bay, then climbed up and under the Golden Gate Bridge and then up to a tourist viewpoint adjacent to Route 101 North.  There were hordes of travelers there all taking photos getting in each others way.  The high point was a group of college guys on top of a RV posing for a photo with the Bridge in the background, when one of the guys mooned.  That was a sight !  And I missed the shot !  You can walk up onto the Bridge pedestrian walkway from this area, which we did and then walked across the Bridge and back.  Walking and biking across the Bridge is a tourist favorite, very scenic. You do have to watch out for the bikes though, it's easy to get run over.  The bike rental company (Blazing Saddles) has a thriving business, we have seen hundreds of these rental bikes all over Sausalito, the Bay Trail, the Bridge and in San Francisco. 

Sausalito Marina view

Elephant light in Sausalito

Sausalito water fountain

Golden Gate bridge from the Bay Trail

Sailor monument at Golden Gate Bridge overlook

Golden Gate Bridge

Golden Gate Bridge

Trucks zoom by pretty close

Lots of rules on the bridge

Container ship in the Bay

A final trip to San Francisco on Thursday by Ferry from Vallejo, then a walk up Market Street to the Civic Center area and then a bus to the Golden Gate Park.   It was the usual weather, clouds/fog/cool in the early morning followed by sun and low 70's temperature.  We roamed around the Botanical Garden first which has an incredible variety of plants, trees and flowers.  We then went to the Flower conservancy where there was a huge impressive Dahlia flower garden.  It was then a bus ride back to Market Street and a walk back to the Ferry Building.  We are starting to understand how to get around this transit system now, it's time to leave ! 

Ferry Building farmers market

Along Market Street

Hotel entrance on Market Street

Fern at Botanical Garden

Another Fern 

Flower Conservancy

Conservancy Gardens

Dahlia flower garden

Dahlia up close

Conservancy building

Hearst Building

Friday Twinkles set me free for the day, we do not do housekeeping functions well together ?  It way past time to wash the truck, that's my job, which is impossible to keep clean, it's like a dirt magnet.  

I went to old downtown Vallejo and was pleasantly surprised, it's not so bad as I thought.  They have a beautifully restored old theater and an old Masonic Lodge building that is being rented out as artistic lofts.  The old downtown is being turned into a arts district.  There is also an uptown area on a hill with beautiful old victorian homes overlooking the Bay.

Red Men's Hall in Vallejo, the Red Men's Hall is an old 
Fraternal organization similar to the Masons established in revolutionary days

Red Man on building exterior

Vallejo museum entrance

Navy shipyard  on Mare Island across from Vallejo Ferry is now closed.   Around
500 navy ships were built there including the first nuclear submarine

I then ride out to Infineon Raceway which is having a Indy car race this Sunday.  This is a huge complex with a road race course and a drag strip.  All the big Indy car teams are on hand, as this is a championship series race.  Friday was just a practice session for Sunday's race, I watched some of that and also went into the garage area to get a closer view of the cars.  Lots and lots of exotic race cars everywhere !  The Indy cars are sifting gears on the road course which really adds to the sound quality. I am not really into these cars that much and with the road course you can only see a small area of the race.  I don't think I would want to battle the crowds on Sunday to see it, even if I was still here ? 

Indy car garage area

That's a big rig !

Indy car on way to the track for practice run

Indy car on way to the track for practice run

Cars on the track

Next tour stop is Ft. Bragg, California on the northern Mendocino coast on August 24th. 

Happy Trails, 
Twinkles and Slick   

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