Mike Breiding's Epic Road Trips: June ~1996~

20 Days of Cycling, Eating, Sight Seeing and some Hiking

Back to Bill's in San Fran to Kick Off Our Urban Cycling Vacation

Exploring San Francisco, Central California, Northwest Washington and the Coast of Oregon

Posted: July 2020

In December of 1995 I visited my brother Bill in San Francisco.
Just 6 short months later I would be on his doorstep again but this time it would be with Betsy and two bikes. This visit would be very different from the one in December of '95 including the writing. This report is based entirely on Betsy's journal entries, the only things I added were photo captions and some details.
Are you ready? Here we go!

Betsy looking for the 1196 entries in her Journals

"Hey Betsy, can you find your journal with the trip we took in 1996 to San Fran?"

That's how this latest Oldy Moldy got started. Once Betsy located the right journal then she was hunting through all the photo albums for the snapshots of the trip. And then I got the idea of looking for the negatives. Once I started looking at all the old negatives I ended up scanning 100s of them including the ones for the 1996 west coast trip.
The negs did not get the best treatment over the years: scratches, mold, color fading and shifting. What a mess. And generally poor shots as it relates to lighting, background, framing, composition. When I look at those oldies now, it makes me realize I may have finally gotten past the "snap shot" phase of my picture taking.

Anyway - Betsy and I sat down with her journal and photos and tried to piece the trip together so it would make sense to someone else. Betsy's journal is fun to read but some things she makes no mention of. If you combine that with us not being able to put a location on some of my pics it got a little confusing and twisted.
My brother Bill got us sorted out on the SF questions but some of the others we had no clue. So here it is in its cobbled together form.

I captioned the photos with standard text and
all of Betsy's journal entries are in italics.

June 1996 - West Coast Trip

Click on the photos below for a larger image.

Photo by Mike Breiding - Click for larger image

Without telling Betsy, for Christmas of 1995 I bought us each a Bike Friday custom folding bike made by Green Gear Cycling of Eugene Oregon.
After talking to the salesman at length about the type of riding we did, I settled on the "New World Tourist" model which was suitable for both road, light gravel and Rail-Trail riding.
As you can see from the photo above the bike breaks down and folds up to fit very tightly into a Samsonite "suiter" hard shell case which also doubles as a trailer. If so desired, one could fly into an airport, assemble the bikes, attach the suitcase trailer and stow the rest of the luggage inside and then off you go! We never did this but it was nice to have the option. And it sounded cool.

Bike Friday with trailer

A fully loaded New World Tourist.


I captioned the photos with standard text and
all of Betsy's journal entries are in italics.

June 8 (Saturday) 10:15 p.m.

I'm sitting in our bedroom listening to spring peepers, watching the dark and feeling the night air. Tomorrow at this time we'll be in San Francisco. I almost hate to leave here - I love this place in summer. Dewey is sitting in the doorway looking as if he sees something out in the dark. Guess I'd better close this and go to sleep.

Photo by Mike Breiding - Click for larger image

June 9 (Sunday)

We said goodbye to the cats and Julian and left Morgantown at 6:30 a.m. The ride to Columbus was uneventful (we saw 5 dead deer) until we reached the city and realized we weren't sure how to get to the airport. Luckily we figured it out and even found the right parking lot without too much hassle. As we unloaded our luggage, a complete stranger asked us if we were going for a year! We said goodbye to our Bike Fridays at the Sky Cap Station, found our gate and boarded the plane. Mike took a picture of our bikes being loaded onto the plane.

Photo by Mike Breiding - Click for larger image

Next stop - San Francisco!

The weather got better and better as we crossed the country. We saw beautiful snowy mountains from the plane window. San Francisco was sunny and blue skied - about 70º and very windy. What a surprise!

Photo by Mike Breiding - Click for larger image

Bill was waiting for us at the airport. We stowed our stuff in his car and headed into town. As we parked in front of his place, a fire across the street caused major excitement.

After putting away our luggage we hit the pavement. We hiked up to a place with a great view. It was so windy, my sunglasses almost blew off my face.

Photo by Mike Breiding - Click for larger image

Brother Bill and Betsy atop (water) Tank Hill. Note the leather ditty bag Betsy is wearing. She bought it specifically for this 1996 trip so she would not have to worry about carrying (or misplacing) a purse.

Photo by Mike Breiding - Click for larger image

24 years of Epic Road Tripping and daily use has taken its toll on Betsy's ditty bag and it is currently on vacation until the zippers get replaced.
The Grover Hot Springs map shown above I picked up in 1979 when my girl friend and I stopped there enroute to San Fran.

Photo by Mike Breiding - Click for larger image

These old negative scans and my point and shoot technique certainly do not do these fabulous views justice.

Photo by Mike Breiding - Click for larger image

Photo by Mike Breiding - Click for larger image

walk map

If you had a mind to, you could take a nice little loop walk to these four high points. And the views could be had for just 3.3 miles of walking and about 1000' of elevation gain. A bargain!

We stopped for ears, sushi, and beer, then headed back to Bill's to pig out. Mike got a little carried away buying sushi. We ended up with sushi for 6 - $41.00.

We went to bed early. The last highlight of the day was me having a nightmare. I thought a street person was chasing me in our house in Uniontown. I actually yelled "Help!" Bill asked if I was OK. The rest of the night I dreamed about identifying bobolinks

Photo by Mike Breiding - Click for larger image

June 10 (Monday)

We got our bikes together without too much trouble and left Bill's apartment shortly after 10:00 a.m.

Photo by Mike Breiding - Click for larger image

"Have a good ride."

Our first stop was Kate's Café for breakfast. I had California oatmeal - 7 grains with lots of fruit and nuts - it was delicious and kept me from getting hungry until late afternoon.

Photo by Mike Breiding - Click for larger image

As we rolled up Haight Street on our way to Golden Gate Park we occasionally dismounted for a photo opp or a stroll down the sidewalk.
Looking at this picture now which was taken in June of 1996 I did not realize San Fran was so far ahead of the recreational/medical marijuana explosion we have seen in the last 10 to 15 years.

We biked to Golden Gate Park and toured the Japanese tea garden. An older couple stopped us to ask about our bikes and Mike hit them with his sales pitch.

Photo by Mike Breiding - Click for larger image

At the time I guess this is what I thought would be a representative photo of the Japanese Tea Garden - a bamboo fence in front of a bamboo grove.

Photo by Mike Breiding - Click for larger image

Here we are at the Music Concourse in Golden Gate Park. I can't say enough about how shoddy these photos are! Why cut the top of the proscenium arch off? Grrrr!

Photo by Mike Breiding - Click for larger image

By now Betsy was ready for a nap. But it would not last long. "And miles to go before I sleep..."

We rode out to the Pacific and the Cliff House/Ocean Beach area. It was incredibly windy and we were glad to pull out our jackets. The pictures and descriptions of the Sutro Baths were very interesting - I would have loved to see them. The "vending machine player piano" was great.

Photo by Mike Breiding - Click for larger image

Ocean Beach! What a great place. Betsy has actually been swimming in that icy water.

Photo by Mike Breiding - Click for larger image

Later in the afternoon we dropped the bikes off at the Valencia bike shop right next to We Be Sushi! Mike's bike needed to have the wheel trued. We walked to La Victoria Bakery (2937 24th Street) and found that ears cost the same there as the first place we bought them. The owner told us that they had owned the business for 25 years and now the sons had taken it over.

In the evening we took the bus to North Beach and ate at Pasta Pomodoro. It was delicious. I had green wide noodles with grilled vegetables and goat cheese in tomato basil sauce.

Photo by Mike Breiding - Click for larger image

Pasta Pomodoro started as a single restaurant in the Marina District of San Francisco in 1994. At one time there were 8 Pasta Pomodoro locations in The City. 15 total in the Bay Area.
Every time I went to SF I ate at a Pomodoro, and more than once. On this 1996 visit Betsy and I ate there 3 times. Every meal was delicious.
Then, on December 26, 2016 abruptly and without notice all 15 locations closed. Permanently. The only notification the employees received was a text message telling them not to come to work.

Pasta Pomodoro locations

There is a take out menu scan here circa 2001.

Photo by Mike Breiding - Click for larger image

It was a fairly early night. We were bushed! - We went to bed around 9:30.

June 11 (Tuesday)

We set out on our bike tour this morning shortly after 9:00.

Photo by Mike Breiding - Click for larger image

On our way to Fisherman's Wharf we enjoyed a speedy decent down Lombard Street. The famous one block section is claimed to be "the crookedest street in the world".

The crookedest street in the world

We had bagels and cream cheese for breakfast at a little outside café right on the water (on Embarcadero near the ferry building). A hungry pigeon spotted us and landed on our table. Then we pedaled on to Fisherman's Wharf where we saw hoards of barking sea lions. We wandered through the shops and bought some post cards. By that time the tourists were getting pretty thick and we were ready to leave.

Photo by Mike Breiding - Click for larger image

Betsy and the famous Sea Lions of Pier 39.

Photo by Mike Breiding - Click for larger image

This is somewhere in the Marina District on our way to the Palace of Fine Arts. There were plenty of bikes in '96 and there are more than ever now - all shapes, sizes and types.

We rode along the ocean and to the Presidio and Golden Gate Bridge. Once when I tried to stop, I couldn't get my feet out of the toe-clips and crashed - another nice big wound on my almost healed knee.

Photo by Mike Breiding - Click for larger image

This was taken on the trail above Fort Mason right near the spot where poor Betsy had trouble with her toe clips, crashed and tore up her knee. We then peddled on to Laguna Street, picked up Marina Blvd, went by the Marina Green and then turned left on to Baker Street to the Palace of Fine Arts.

Photo by Mike Breiding - Click for larger image

The Palace of Fine arts, home to the 1915 Panama-Pacific Exposition.

Photo by Mike Breiding - Click for larger image

It was completely rebuilt from 1964 to 1974. It is one of only a few surviving structures from the Exposition.

Photo by Mike Breiding - Click for larger image

Here we go - riding across the Golden Gate Bridge!

Photo by Mike Breiding - Click for larger image

Here comes Betsy!

Photo by Mike Breiding - Click for larger image

There goes Betsy!

Photo by Mike Breiding - Click for larger image

There she is! My adventurous Bridge Babe!

Photo by Mike Breiding - Click for larger image

One last photo opp of the bridge and we started the ride back to Bill's place.

Finally we arrived back at Bill's around 2:30. After napping and showering, we went to pick up the rental car and loaded the trunk with most of our stuff except the bikes. Then Mike and Bill and I walked to Pancho Villa's Taqueria. I had a super vegetarian burrito. It was good but so huge I could only eat half of it, so we wrapped it in foil and on the way home Bill gave it to a homeless person.

June 12 (Wednesday)

We got up at 5:00 a.m., packed up our stuff and headed out to Yosemite shortly after 6:00. We had a few short delays to get gas, breakfast and ask for directions. We arrived at Yosemite around 11:00. The views were incredible - so were the people and traffic. We parked the car and rode our bikes into Yosemite village. I just could not believe the number of people and tour bus after tour bus! In spite of the beautiful scenery, we were both more than ready to leave.

Photo by Mike Breiding - Click for larger image

Bridal Wreath falls and two West Virginia cyclists.

We drove on to Mono Lake, and the scenery across the Tioga pass was breathtaking and so was Mono Lake. We stopped to take a look at the tufa monuments and saw a thunderstorm in the distance. We finally got to Markleeville, picked up some groceries and had dinner at the Alpine Restaurant at the back of the Cutthroat Saloon.

Photo by Mike Breiding - Click for larger image

Tioga Pass area. Back then I carried a tripod for "selfies".

Photo by Mike Breiding - Click for larger image

Photo by Mike Breiding - Click for larger image

An ancient juniper which someone had brutally cut a chunk off of. Probably for firewood.

Photo by Mike Breiding - Click for larger image

The only photo from Mono Lake I took. Typically, I had tried to jam too much into one day and so we had little time to explore.

By the time we got to Grover Hot Springs, found a camp site and got the tent up it was almost dark. Exhausted, we crashed!


June 13 (Thursday)

We awoke at 6:00 a.m. to a brisk sunny morning. The camp ground was very quiet. We have no neighbors here at our campsite and our "backyard" heads right up into the hills.

At about 7:30, after coffee and "ears" we took a walk over to the hot springs. As we crossed the camp ground, we saw a bear in the distance lumbering through a campsite! (Mike said that the night before when he registered, the woman made him sign a paper saying she had told him there were bears!)

We biked into town for breakfast. The ride was gorgeous and peaceful - we'll leave Yosemite for other people! Then we biked straight to the hot springs where we spent a pleasant hour going back and forth between the hot and cold pools.

We're now drinking cold beers and eating bread from last night's supper under the towering pines at our campsite. All is quiet except for the breeze sighing through the pines and the stellar's jays chattering in the trees.

As I was writing the above, a squirrel came right up onto our picnic table to steal a chunk of bread. As he left with it, another squirrel and a stellar's jay chased him.

We napped in the tent for awhile, then hiked up to the waterfall.

Photo by Mike Breiding - Click for larger image

Photo by Mike Breiding - Click for larger image

Photo by Mike Breiding - Click for larger image

On our way back to camp, Mike saw a white headed woodpecker fly away from a hollow tree. We put our ears to the hole in the tree and could hear the babies in the nest, but couldn't see them.

In the evening after our supper of hot dogs and beans, we visited the hot springs again, then went into the local bar, Cutthroat's Saloon, for a drink. Hanging from the ceiling of the bar as ornaments were dozens of bras!

June 14 (Friday)

We were packed up and ready to leave Grover by about 8:00 a.m. We wended our way towards Lava Beds via Lake Tahoe and lots of back roads. The scenery was magnificent and Tahoe had great biking trails. It would be great to go back there someday just to do some biking.

What with back roads and several stops for this and that, we didn't arrive at Lava Beds until almost 4:00 p.m. Mike just about had a fit thinking we wouldn't be able to get the camp site we had on our honeymoon, but lo and behold, it was empty! - the best site in the campground - with a beautiful, serene view of the desert, nighthawks buzzing overhead, scrub jays scolding and jack rabbits hopping close by. Needless to say, I love it! Dinty Moore Stew for supper. Such campers we are!

June 15 (Saturday)

Mike woke me in the middle of the night to hear the coyotes yipping and again around 5:00 a.m. to see the sunrise. We got up around 6:00 - another beautiful day. By 7:30 we were headed out to Tule Lake. We hiked Sheepy ridge behind the visitors center and then set out on our bikes on the auto tour of the wildlife area.

Photo by Mike Breiding - Click for larger image

Peddling towards Tule Lake to bike the auto tour route in the Tule Lake National Wildlife Refuge.

Photo by Mike Breiding - Click for larger image

The beginning of our tour.

We saw eared and western grebes, white pelicans, song sparrows, marsh wrens, cliff swallows, red winged and tri colored black birds, some kind of white heron or egret and various and assorted ducks. (That means we couldn't identify them.) The cliff swallows flying around the cliffs were so numerous they reminded us of bees buzzing around a hive.

The auto tour road turned out to be pretty rough, so when we got to the paved road, we decided to stay on it rather than take the tour road. We ended up riding a little over 24 miles.

For supper, we decided to drive into the town of Tule Lake and try out the Mexican restaurant. What an adventure! The waitress could barely speak English and there were two dinner choices - tacos and burritos. We had burritos and they weren't too good.

After supper, we rode our bikes to the base of Schonchin Butte. What a beautiful evening and much chillier than last night!
This took our biking total today to almost 30 miles!

Photo by Mike Breiding - Click for larger image

Here we are in 1996 at campsite #6 the very same site we stayed at on our Honeymoon on June 17th 1982 - 14 years previous. The photos don't show the sweeping view we had down in the Tule basin from our campsite. And just a short way down the hill there were the remains of a Modoc Indian fortification which was used to spot soldiers during the 1869 Modoc Indian uprising.

Photo by Mike Breiding - Click for larger image

Beautiful Schonchin Butte as seen from campsite № 6.

When we stayed at Lava Beds in 1982, Schonchin Butte still had an operational and manned fire lookout station at the summit. Here is the entry from Betsy's journal for Sunday, June 20, 1982.

We hiked to the lookout station at Schonchin Butte.
We found that a ranger and his son were staying up there on fire duty. He said there had been several lightening fires as a result of the storm the previous evening.
He also said he'd watched a lot of storms from a lot of lookout towers, but last night's was the worst he'd ever seen. It dropped an inch of rain, which is the usual total for that area from May - Oct.!
The ranger, Robert Boring, was very interesting to talk to, and turned out to be from Maple Hts!

That is Maple Heights, OH just a short distance from Cleveland Heights where Betsy was living when I met her in 1980. She could have easily bumped into Robert Boring at the grocery store and now all three us were chatting in Lava Beds National Monument in northern California. As they say: It's a small world.

I captioned the photos with standard text and
all of Betsy's journal entries are in italics.

Photo by Mike Breiding - Click for larger image

Again we heard yipping coyotes in the night and later found out they had been up in B loop of the camp ground.

Photo by Mike Breiding - Click for larger image

June 16 (Sunday)

Another glorious day! We decided to hike today, so we parked the car at the Skull Cave parking lot and took Lyons Trail to Three Sisters Trail.
The trail was sometimes almost impossible to follow - because of limited use, you could barely tell where the trail was anymore - but Mike was good at hunting it, and after about 4 hours of hiking, we arrived back at the campground. We then bushwhacked across country to our car and drove "home" to enjoy beer, salsa and chips and "other delights."

The Newlyweds in 1982

The Newlyweds in 1982

While hiking we identified the rufous sided towhee which we determined used to be called the Western Towhee. It doesn't sound at all like our towhee at home.

We're so grubby after 5 nights of camping, that we've decided to stay at a cheap motel around Crater Lake. Guess we're getting old!

After a supper of hot dogs, we drove to Schonchin Butte and hiked up to the fire tower. Beautiful views but very windy. And speaking of windy, when we got back to the campground, someone's tent was blowing away! Mike put more stakes and rocks around ours, and we pulled out our sweats and wind breakers. We went to bed early because it was so windy we couldn't have a camp fire.

Photo by Mike Breiding - Click for larger image

And the wind she did blow!

June 17 (Monday)

Another sunny day, but very cool. After packing up and saying good bye to our beautiful view, we left Lava Beds and headed towards Crater Lake. We stopped for breakfast at a homey little place called the Rapid's Café. Mike ordered a western omelet with extra green chilies, and the chef came out to ask him if it was hot enough. He brought out a hot sauce called "Insanity." Mike put just a drop on the end of his fork and said it was the hottest thing he'd ever tasted. By the time we left, the waitress, the chef and the other customers all said good bye to us.

Before we got to Crater Lake, Mike spotted a bald eagle sitting in a tree - first one I've ever seen in the wild.

The snow at Crater Lake was amazing. We didn't realize it would still be winter there. Most of the west rim and most of the hiking trails were still closed. We stopped at the visitors center and then went to the Rim Village. Crater Lake was absolutely incredible with almost impossibly blue water surrounded by snow capped peaks. There were towering walls of snow along some of the roads and we saw Clark's Nutcrackers at one of the overlooks.

Photo by Mike Breiding - Click for larger image

Photo by Mike Breiding - Click for larger image

We left Crater Lake and drove on to Chemult where we found another homey little place, the Featherbed Motel, where they really do have feather beds on the beds, plus all the free movies you want. (Of course, that's because they only have 1 TV station.)

Photo by Mike Breiding - Click for larger image

Our kind of place!

We worked on eating a giant pizza while watching a Star Trek episode (it doesn't get any better than this) and heard on the local news that it should go down to 24º tonight at Crater Lake!

June 18 (Tuesday)

We woke up this morning atop our feather bed after an almost 12 hour sleep - aaahhh! It was crystal clear and sunny outside and there was ice on the car!

We decided we would do some hiking in the area today and stay here again tonight, so after a trip to the ranger station for maps, we headed out to Miller Lake. It was a beautiful lake, ringed with conifers and snow capped peaks. We enjoyed the 5+ miles around the lake although it was rather "mosquitoey." We saw pine siskins by the hoards, Clark's nutcrackers, gray jays, and a pair of Barrow's Golden eyes on the lake.

We then drove to Crescent Lake. We had planned to bike around it, but were both too tired, so we drove around instead. It was very tranquil. We saw no other cars, only a family on bicycles. We stopped at a beach and I fell asleep in the sand.

Photo by Mike Breiding - Click for larger image

Crescent Lake - nap time...

Photo by Mike Breiding - Click for larger image

The bark on the this big conifer looks like Ponderosa Pine.

We came back to our little room at the Featherbed where we reheated last night's pizza on the propane stove using 3 throwaway cake pans as a covered double boiler - how clever of us! The pizza, however, was not any better than on the previous night!

June 19 (Wednesday)

We awoke at the Featherbed Inn, and after a sweet roll breakfast at The Wheel Café, we headed for Eugene and Green Gear Cycling. We got there without too much trouble and got Mike's tire switched. Then our salesman, Steve Babcock, gave us a tour of the place. Very interesting crowded shop, crammed full of machinery - interesting to see some of their different bike styles.

Photo by Mike Breiding - Click for larger image

Betsy and Green Gear Cycling salesman Steve Babcock in front of their shop. The reason we were there? From the first ride the rear tire on my Bike Friday wobbled. It needed truing. The folks at Valencia cycling in San Fran had no luck and told us the wheel "had been laced backwards" so it would be impossible to get it balanced. That's when I called Green Gear and they told us to stop by on our way to Portland and they would take care of it. The result was an upgraded hub and wheel.

We arrived in Portland mid-afternoon. Even then, there was plenty of traffic and we were glad we hadn't waited for rush hour. We found Judy and Denny's and our little basement kingdom. After hauling in our stuff, we went for groceries and then tried to walk to Mt. Tabor Park, but we didn't take the map and never quite found the park.

We really enjoyed seeing the landscaping of the Portland homes. Rhododendron trees, jap maples, lots of rock gardening and, as Mike would say, "roses out the butthole"!

Photo by Mike Breiding - Click for larger image

Judy, Denny and Mila were home when we got back. We snacked on salsa, chips, beer and wine, and eventually (around 9:00) had a delicious dinner of grilled salmon fillets, fresh sweet corn, and salad from the garden.

June 20 (Thursday)

Mike plotted out our route and we hopped on our Bike Fridays around 10:00 a.m. We rode through the city and up to the Willamette River. There are often designated bike lanes here, which definitely makes you (me, anyway) feel more secure when riding through traffic.

We had a nice ride along the river, but made a wrong turn onto the airport road where we feared for our lives amidst the roaring trucks and cars.

We rode and we rode and we rode and we rode and we rode and we rode and we rode! - until we came to Forest Park, where we decided it would be a shame to ride all this way and not see some of the park.

We began what turned out to be a very long ascent on a gated park road. As we pedaled our way slowly upward we heard the long song of the winter wren. We were thankful for the smooth, paved road and thought about flying down it when we descended. However, after arriving at the top we found the road turned to bumping, rutted gravel and our ride down was bone jarring and tooth rattling. When we finally got back to Judy and Denny's, we figured we had ridden a record breaking 52 miles!

Dinner at the White Rabbit Restaurant was delicious - the marinated lamb skewers were particularly excellent.
We fell into bed, sore, tired and very full!

Judy and Denny and Mila

Judy, Mila and Denny. They have since moved to Alaska and we never saw them again.

June 21 (Friday)

I left for Seattle around 11:30 and had a leisurely trip. I found the Nickerson St. Saloon that Dave mentioned, parked behind it, and wandered over the draw bridge to the Fremont area. Unfortunately, most of the "little shops" proved to be restaurants, but I did find several to explore and bought a book and some wine.

The weather had turned sunny, so I changed to shorts in the car and then found a shady outside table at the Nickerson St. Saloon. I had a Deschutes Black Butte Porter and a delicious bowl of vegetarian minestrone and sat and relaxed and read my book.

I found Dave's place, and sat on his porch and read til he got home. Then when Phil arrived, we went to the Greek restaurant where we had beer and hors d'oeuvres. After watching the sun set over Puget Sound, we finalized our plans for the following day and I made myself comfortable on Dave's living room floor and fell asleep.

June 22 (Saturday)

I got up shortly after 6:00 and by 7:00 a.m., Phil and Dave's girlfriend, Julia, had arrived and we set out for the Olympic Peninsula. We took the ferry over at Kingston and had breakfast at the Kingston Inn. It was quite a drive to get to Hurricane Ridge, but definitely worth it! The visitor's center where we parked the car was already about 5000 feet up and ringed by beautiful snow capped peaks with clouds layered below them. We hiked quite a way up the ridge, sometimes with sheer drops - always on either side of us. The views were breathtaking! We sat at a high point and soaked in the scenery until things became pretty well socked in.

Photo by Mike Breiding - Click for larger image

Betsy with her cousins Phil and Dave.

Photo by Mike Breiding - Click for larger image

Photo by Mike Breiding - Click for larger image

I had taken quite a few pictures, but Dave inadvertently opened my camera and exposed the film, so whether they'll come out?? who knows. On the way home we stopped in Port Townsend and explored some of the numerous little shops. We missed the 6:30 ferry, so we went to a waterside restaurant and had clam chowder in sour dough bread bowls. It was almost 9:00 when we finally got back to Seattle.

I was staying with Phil that night, so he set up his tent for me in his backyard. He has a nice little house, homey and cozy. I went to bed around 10:00.

June 23 (Sunday - my birthday)

I left Seattle about 9:00 a.m. It had started raining during the night (I enjoyed listening to it patter on the tent) and continued as I drove back to Portland with several cloud bursts that made driving scary. At one point, the people ahead of me braked, but when I tried to slow down there was no traction. Luckily I was able to move to the next lane, but as I looked in my rear view mirror, I saw another car go flying off the road into the median!

I made it back safely, and Mike and I shared weekend stories. We spent the afternoon trying to catch the sun when it was out and trying to reach Marie and David to go out to dinner with us. We were never able to get ahold of them and ended up going by ourselves to the Hawthorne St. Café. In the evening we had New York chocolate fudge chunk ice cream in honor of my birthday. Mike gave me a book about the birds of Arizona and two kinds of balsamic vinegar.

June 24 (Monday)

Mike woke up with the cold and sore throat that Denny, Mila and Judy have been passing around.

We said our good byes, rounded up our ever increasing load of stuff, and headed for Astoria.

We found the Astoria Inn, but no one was home, so we went "downtown" for lunch. We had some delicious clam chowder and I had a bottle of "Henry's dark." Then we walked around town and I did some exploring of little shops on my own.

I forgot to mention that on the way to Astoria we stopped along the road to go to the bathroom. Mike saw a banana slug and pointed it out to me. Suddenly we were seeing them all over the place - pretty interesting! I found a card at one of the shops that had ferns and a banana slug on it and bought it for Mike.

At the Astoria Inn we met Mickey (the owner) and Wrinkles (her bulldog). The Inn is very comfortable and nicely decorated in the Victorian Style and our room (Cape Lookout) has a magnificent view of the Columbia River.

We spent some time talking to Mickey and a couple from Atlanta, then went to supper at a quaint little restaurant - we had delicious plank cooked salmon!

After supper we climbed the Astoria Column for an incredible view of the Columbia River and the bridge from Washington. The column had scenes from the history of Astoria "etched" on it.

Back at the Inn, we watched a beautiful sunset from the porch and then enjoyed our room (and each other) for the rest of the evening. Heard winter wren and Swainson's thrush.

Photo by Mike Breiding - Click for larger image

Photo by Mike Breiding - Click for larger image

Photo by Mike Breiding - Click for larger image

June 25 (Tuesday)

It was raining in the morning. I sat on the Inn porch drinking coffee, eating cookies and watching the Columbia River. We had a delicious breakfast and got started on our day's drive. Mike was not feeling too good and progressively got worse as the day went on. Although the scenery was great, there were a good number of tacky, touristy towns and more traffic than we had anticipated. The drive dragged on and on, and to make matters worse, toward the end of the day, Mike got out of the car to take a leak and stepped in a big pile of dog shit!

When we arrived (finally!) at the Home By the Sea Bed and Breakfast, the host, Alan, immediately took us out back to take pictures and show us the poison oak that abounds there. The view, which we could also see from our bedroom window, was magnificent - rocks, sea stacks, mist, surf! The owner talked a lot!

Photo by Mike Breiding - Click for larger image

Photo by Mike Breiding - Click for larger image

By this time Mike felt pretty awful. He went right to bed. I walked on the beach, went to supper at The Truculent Oyster (great clam chowder!) and picked up some pizza to take back for Mike.

June 26 (Wednesday)

Photo by Mike Breiding - Click for larger image

The day dawned clear and sunny. Fog drifted through the view from our window, making it look like a Japanese painting. Mike felt rotten and stayed in bed all day so I set out on my own. I put my bike together and headed for Cape Blanco Lighthouse, about 10 miles away. Although it looked flat on the topo map, there were a few good heart beat raising hills! The day was absolutely gorgeous, winter wrens and Swainson's thrushes sang from the trees and wild iris and fragrant rhododendron bloomed on the road sides.

Unfortunately, the lighthouse turned out to be closed on Wednesdays but I saw some great views. Also unfortunately, I was a little hesitant to walk out to the beach by myself since no one else was anywhere around.

Photo by Mike Breiding - Click for larger image

I pedaled back to town, went up and down side streets, went out to the port and out to several view points. A beautiful western tanager flew across the road in front of me. On the way back to the Inn I stopped to look around the Wooden Nickel myrtle wood shop. I later drove back there and to another myrtle wood shop and picked out some pieces for me and some Christmas gifts.

I took another beach walk (saw loons, 2 live, 1 dead), did some laundry and again went out to dinner by myself. Poor Mike still not feeling good.

Photo by Mike Breiding - Click for larger image

Photo by Mike Breiding - Click for larger image

Photo by Mike Breiding - Click for larger image

June 27 (Thursday)

We left Port Orford with its beautiful views around 10:00 a.m. Mike still not feeling great. Today we drove through big tree country. The "avenue of the giants" was spectacular. We arrived at our next destination, the Sherwood Forest Motel, just ahead of a bunch of geriatric motorcycle riders.

Photo by Mike Breiding - Click for larger image

Photo by Mike Breiding - Click for larger image

We had a pretty good Mexican dinner and went to the hot tub and pool afterwards.

June 28 (Friday)

We got an early start, a little before 8:00 a.m. We enjoyed some more glorious scenery along the coast and finally arrived in San Fran shortly after 11:00. It took us quite a few trips to get everything back into Bill's apartment. We relaxed awhile and Mike bathed and shaved and we headed out to return the car, then on to Pasta Pomodoro for, you guessed it, more food. It was delicious. We sat in the window, enjoying watching the beautiful day and the tourists. As we walked home we stopped to listen to some street music. The streets were becoming packed with people, not just the regular tourist crowd, but people in town for the gay and lesbian celebration.

In the evening we dropped Bill off at his "female perversion" movie and walked on to the market at 16th and Valencia to get some "ears." Only 4 left and we bought them all.

June 29 (Saturday)

We biked to Kate's for Breakfast, but were both too tired to do anything very energetic after that. We rode to the park, left our bikes and walked. We watched people doing Tai Chi on the Music Concourse, then walked around a lake, watching ducks and turtles.

Photo by Mike Breiding - Click for larger image

On our last evening in The City we took my nephew Miguel out for sushi.

Photo by Mike Breiding - Click for larger image

Cheers! and farewell...

The next morning brother Bill took us to the airport bright and early so as to avoid the rush hour traffic. About half way there I noticed I had forgotten a piece of luggage so we had to do an about face. Bummer, dude.
And so ends another wonderful visit to San Francisco. I am sure glad Betsy took the time to do all that journaling. Thanks, Honey! (!SMOOCH!)

~~~~~~~~~~ BONUS Photo ~~~~~~~~~~

Orejas pastry

The "ears" mentioned several times by Betsy refer to "orejas" which are pastries sold by almost all of the panaderias in SF.
Although I generally do not eat sugary pastries I have a weakness for ears and always have them when visiting SF.
The tastiest orejas I ever had were purchased at the Panaderia Mexicali on Nolensville Pike in Nashville. Thanks, Boobie!

See you next time...
Mike and Betsy

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