A Bridge not too far: The Golden Gate Bridge – Day 3 Part I

I woke up from a great night of sleep, had enough coffee and cake (whatever was free at the hotel) to jump start my day, packed the bike and left at about 8:00 am.  I figured at that time, going straight south on 101 would be a major traffic nightmare with people trying to get to San Francisco. So I took the long way south via Point Reyes Station.  Before leaving Petaluma behind on this story, I recently found out it was the main stage where the famous “American Graffiti” was filmed. Well, how famous it is to you will depend on how old you are.

Point Reyes Station, CA. July 26th, 2011

Back to Point Reyes Station, below is a photo of the farmers market.  This whole area is very agricultural.  I would say it is reasonably left alone, considering it is so close to San Francisco and the 101 corridor.  I thought about it in terms of Tuscany or Marche in Italy, in the sense of how the fields look, the agricultural vocation of the area, the artisan look of the agricultural enterprises, all with close proximity to populous areas.

Pt Reyes Station Farmers Market, CA, July 26th, 2011

I could see myself living live on this area. Not too far from an international airport, but close enough to nice healthy farm life, and nice riding areas as well. I still like best Oregon. For now at least. One other thing I noticed on this area was the presence of Eucalyptus trees. I assume they are not native of the area. They bring me memories of growing up close to these trees.  There was a time when people liked these trees and brought them in from Australia or from where ever else they are native. The smells are great when riding on the road sections shaded by these interesting trees.

Eucalyptus Trees. Petaluma/Point Reyes Rd. California. July 26th, 2011

From there I continued south on Hwy. 1, going exactly on top of or alongside the famous San Andreas fault, and going past Bolinas Lagoon (to the right on the photo below).  Can you imagine riding as an earthquake happens? I did not think about it at the time.

Hwy 1 and the San Andreas fault and Bolinas Lagoon. CA. July 26th 2011

I reached Stinson Beach and from there started climbing the more picturesque portion of Hwy 1.

Stinson Beach, CA. July 26th, 2011

Looking back towards (left to right) Bolinas way out there on the left, Bolinas Lagoon, and Stinson Beach more on first plane.

Stinson Beach and Bolinas. CA. July 26th, 2011.

On the many times I go through San Francisco by plane, to connect to the flights leaving for the Pacific territories or to the east, I look down and see these many small roads snaking up and down on this hilly coastal area, close to the bridge. And I always wanted to be on the ground in this area. Now I’m finally riding on them.

Highway 1, California, July 26th, 2011

Oh yes, I almost forgot. The Tiger wanted to be on the picture as well.

The Tiger on Hwy 1. California. July 26th, 2011

More views of this area.

A bit of fog. California, July 26th, 2011

One more picture before the road turns inland, towards 101 just north of the Golden Gate Bridge.

Always nice. California, July 26th, 2011

As the road goes more inland I see more houses, traffic increases and eventually I get to Hwy 101 in Marin City.  I will have to go back to this area and explore more.  But for now, I crossed the bridge.

Crossing the Bridge. San Francisco, CA, July 26th, 2011

It was not quite raining. Just fog. I should ask my father, a civil engineer, what could be the approximate bearing load for these columns. It has four of them on the entire span of the bridge. Just those cables must be a big chunk of the weight of the bridge and the traffic passing through.  On the other hand, the bridge is arched, so I assume some of the weight is transferred to the anchorage points on either end of the bridge. And since everything is tied up together, many vector forces balance each other out somewhat.  What a clever design, still used in modern bridges today.

The columns. GGB, CA, July 2011

I had seen the toll signs, $6.00 per vehicle. I got the cash ready with the right change on my handy Otter box before I entered the bridge.  It was my first time going through a toll road on a motorcycle: “Do I have to pay?” I asked the clerk when I reached the toll booth on the other end of the bridge. “Yes”, along with a puzzled look, he answered. I must had looked more stupid than I regularly am on that very moment.

Do I have to Pay? And the puzzled look. Toll Booth on GGB, San Francisco, CA, July 26th, 2011

So I turned around and came back up north. That was it, mission #2 accomplished.

Going North on GGB, CA. July 26th, 2011

The bridge has its own police patrol.  I was going by the book, for a change: 45mph!

GGB Police. CA, July 25th, 2011

I stopped at the north east view area of the bridge. How beautiful and fitting that it was a foggy day, considering the many times I stayed at the Eugene airport, waiting, as my flight had been delayed getting into San Francisco because of this very fog. You can see the arch on the bridge and the anchor points where opposite forces not totally, but probably somewhat cancel out.

Fog and the Bridge. California, July 26th, 2011

Another photo.  The bridge is probably always under some level of work or painting or something.

The GGB. California, July 26th, 2011

Adios bridge, time go home.  I now had three days to enjoy the trip back north. So I went back to Petaluma, using 101 as traffic was light. From Petaluma and turned left and went back to Hwy. 1. Yes, I needed to find the far west location to then turn right and go north again, enjoying the beautiful views of the Pacific Ocean.

Far west I go! California, July 2011

Back to Point Reyes Station.

Petaluma-Pt Reyes Road. California, July 26th, 2011

When flying over the San Francisco area, I also saw many times the spit of land that appears to be coming apart from the main land by the San Andreas fault.  Tamales Bay runs north to south making this somewhat straight line along the San Andreas fault.  So, before going north I decided to check this area. I went towards Inverness.

Inverness, CA. July 26th, 2011

They have this Czech restaurant. It is on my notes to check it out on a future trip to this area.  Not that I know anything about the kind of food they serve. But exactly because I don’t know anything about their food.

Czech Restaurant, Hungarian Beer. Inerness, CA, July 25th, 2011

It would take me a while to ride on the many areas in this spit of land, I wanted to specially go to the west side of it, to the Pt Reyes light house. But you know, I like to leave something behind for another trip to the area. So if I ever ride on this area again, I know of a few places that will still be new to me. So I decided to turn around and went back south to Pt Reyes Station one last time on this trip to catch Hwy 1 and resume my north bound route.

Pt Reyes Station, CA, July 26th, 2011

Now I was on the mainland side of Tamales Bay. What was that bumper sticker on the fence?

Tamales Bay. California, July 26th, 2011

Very interesting to have that sticker right here, in the almost middle of nowhere. I’m not sure electric is the solution, but certainly we are addicted to oil.

Drive electric on Tamales Bay. CA, July 26th, 2011

Here is another view of Tamales Bay and its almost straight shape as it follows along the San Andreas fault.

Tamales Bay, CA, July 26th, 2011

Next: Day 3, Part II.

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