California road trip day 3

There was a reason for ending the day in San Jose and it was tinged with sadness.

We’d made it to California, the sun was shining and the temperature was certainly far above what we’d left behind in BC. The rain gear was consigned to the luggage, the summer gloves were donned and a generally good feeling was evident. However more wind and more Freeway soon brought me back to reality. Fortunately the Freeway was not going to figure too large in the days plans, and around Winters the bikes peeled off I5 and finally hit some minor roads. Elliot had planned out a curvy route that provided a lunch break in Napa, so we pushed on.

We were well on schedule and could progress at a more comfortable pace. Ir was certainly a welcome break from the relentless pace on the I5. Having said that, the pace of the first two days was to allow us to maximise time in the sun. The road we now travelled was a great example of why getting south quicky was worthwhile. We came across a great photo op along the 128 just of Lake Berryessa. It was pretty representative of the views for the day. We were in a big country indeed..

The curves continued as the 128 became the 121. Napa was nearing as was a well deserved lunch break. Siting outside under shade and simply relaxing for a good hour and a half was as needed as well deserved. The next target was San Francisco.

Having completed our cross country leg, it was back to then major highway. What I wasn’t prepared for was the sudden increase in speed and ‘free for all’ approach to passing. The traffic was faster and less predictable.

I always tell my son that the moment one gets on a bike, you’re invisible, cars will not see you, think for everyone, at all times. Put simply, good advice. Wits were needed far more around the Bay area than at any other time on the trip.

Entry in to San Francisco was over the Golden Gate. A really special way to enter the city, and having ridden from Vancouver, those few moments were soaked up. Ear to ear grins were struck. Another challenge risen to and met.

I was in need to fuel and so we took a decent break as we’d hit the city at rush hour. Having avoided traffic for most of the last three days, a big city at rush hour was a real shock to the system.

The day was to end in San Jose. There was a reason for ending the day in San Jose and it was tinged with sadness. Not far from San Jose is Los Altos, and the sister of our friend that had died from Ovarian cancer lives in Los Altos. Having travelled so far, we wanted to call in and spend some time with Lesley and Ryan. As wonderful as it was to see Lesley again, under very different circumstances, from our meetings between Jan and Mar of this year, the fact that we’d probably never have met had it not been for Teri’s illness and death certainly reminded me how life can take unexpected turns.

Day three drew to a close in the relative splendour of the Fairmont in San Jose. A last minute booking using hotwire.com proved to be a master stroke. It was late, I was tired, emotionally drained and ready for some serious sleep.

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