A Gem Hidden by Fog
By Cate Boyle:
We officially made it Coast to Coast by train, in under two weeks while making multiple stops in between! Arriving in Emeryville, California after a 24-hour train ride from Glenwood Springs Colorado was a truly incredible feeling. We have now taken the California Zephyr three separate times left us off in Emeryville, California just across the bay from San Francisco. Thankfully, Amtrak has a connecting bus that will take you, and your bike, the extra few miles to the city.
Although it was much cooler than we expected our first stop in California stop to be, San Francisco was breath taking. Crossing over the Bay Bridge into the city was the best feeling, excited by the emotions of finally being able to say we made it to the west coast by train! Upon arriving at the Transbay Temporary Terminal, we were just a short few blocks to our hotel! A brand new San Francisco Transbay Terminal is scheduled for completion in late 2017. Next, we set out to explore the city! We spent the rest of the evening enjoying a beautiful meal in Little Italy which was crowded with people trying to get a table at one of the many restaurants.
The next day was the real deal, early in the morning we walked to the Ferry Terminal Building which is filled with different shops and eateries. There was also a great Marketplace set up outside with many vendors selling art, jewelry, and even some woodworking too.
After picking up a breakfast sandwich and a coffee or two, Victoria and I rented Ford Go Bikes from a station located right outside the Ferry Building. We took off along the coast line making stops for the sea lions at Pier 39 and Fisherman’s Wharf.
With our eye on the prize, my bucket list item to ride across the Golden Gate Bridge, we continued on paths near the coastline towards San Francisco’s most iconic structure. We passed the Coit Tower and happened upon a group of people swimming across the bay! While stopping to watch these swimmers race across the bay, we realized we were standing in the presence of Alcatraz Island. Pictures do not do the island justice; it is deceiving how close it seems to where we were standing. Next trip to San Francisco will most definitely include an Alcatraz Island Tour.
Finally, after conquering a few intense hills, we made it to the Golden Gate Bridge. The area was packed with fellow bicyclists and families looking to cross the bridge. The journey is not for the faint hearted, the hills are steep, and the distance is deceiving. However, the view was one of a kind, riding across the Golden Gate Bridge has been on my bucket list and I can finally cross it off! The bridges pedestrian paths are separated on one side with those who are walking and bikers on the other! After crossing the bridge, you can head to Sausalito looking back on the incredible journey you made and then take the ferry back over to where it all began at the Ferry Building.
I cannot say enough about this beautiful city filled with hills, colorful houses, fog and street cars. So naturally, we took a nice day trip to see where the street cars for San Francisco are made!