Lagunitas, CA to San Francisco, CA

31.1 mi / 9.9 mph / 1446 ft. climbing
Home: Lone Mountain VRBO

The rain and the wet in camp (even when it’s not raining) is a significant drain on our time, energy, comfort, and thus, enjoyment of this mostly-outdoor life we’ve chosen to live. I want to make this version of life be as comfortable and enjoyable as possible for Rett, because that means we’ll both be more interested in keeping it going over the long-term.

So lately I’ve been pushing more towards spending money for a solid roof over our heads at night and dry places to set things down. The forecast had long been showing overnight rain for last night, and without knowing if it would start early enough to wreck dinner, or go late enough to keep us in the tent past light, I had been leaning towards spending $100 for a cabin at the State Park (relatively cheap for accommodations around here), but Rett was willing to “risk it” and go with the $7/person hiker/biker tent site.

It ended up being a successful gamble, because while it definitely rained down solidly for hours, it was only when we were sleeping (or trying to). The benefits were that we saved $100, we gained a little experience+faith that we can handle overnight rain, and we got to hang out with Raven, who we of course would have never met if we’d been holed up in our isolated cabin.

Of course it was still super-wet in the morning, so breakfast and packing up was a dirty, wet, slow mess (I have no idea how Raven made it out of camp, silently, before we even woke up). But we soon escaped the shaded forest and were back into another sunny, shorts-weather day.

Some 10 miles in, with only 20 miles to go to one of the West Coast’s major cities, we finally started hitting stop signs, traffic lights, urban dining strips, and other signs of human concentration that we hadn’t seen since leaving Seattle. I’m not sure how Marin County keeps the sprawl so limited; is it just the Golden Gate that makes it naturally impractical, or do they do a lot of work to keep people from having housing to live in?

St. Anselm Catholic Church in San Francisco.

Sitting outside at one of those cute urban dining strips in San Anselmo and eating 1000 calories of pecan-filled 2nd-breakfast, amid the trees showing fall colors, but with some of the three people who stopped to ask about our trip also wearing shorts, it was definitely a reminder of why so many people do definitely wish they could find housing that would let them live in this area. It just felt so… desirable.

We waited until Sausalito for actual lunch, at a bench right on the Bay, looking out to the San Francisco skyline and Alcatraz, with pelicans skimming the water, seals poking their heads out of it, and crabs skittering on the rocks. Yep, we get why people want to live here too.

Rett and San Francisco.
A seal escaping from Alcatraz.
Crabs and San Francisco.

Then it was up the hill to cross the Golden Gate Bridge! I’d been across it once before, on a family vacation in 8th grade, but I was still surprised at the massive scale of it. Maybe because I’ve been across a lot more “big” bridges since then, and I just assumed the Golden Gate Bridge fit in with them? Well, it does not. And luckily, unlike most of those small “big” bridges we have to cross, bikes/pedestrians are completely separated from auto traffic across the Golden Gate, making it easy to navigate the 1.7 mile span.

Rett rode her bike to the Golden Gate!

Seattle to San Francisco. It’s still far from being the whole West Coast, but ever since we booked a VRBO here weeks ago, San Francisco has been a key marker for me, to hang a target upon, a defined goal in time and space to bring some shape and structure into this otherwise open-ended and poorly-defined life.

Even better, we get to see family here. Rett’s cousin Alex, his wife Jen, and their 2-year-old son Simon who COVID had kept us from meeting until now. They generously had us over for weeknight-dinner (delicious home-cooking done inside a home was an unimaginable luxury to us), a bedtime story, and good family conversation. It’s going to be real good to lay up here for a few days.

Rett and Simon read ‘Green Eggs and Ham’.
Sunset over San Francisco from Alex and Jen’s apartment.



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3 responses to “Lagunitas, CA to San Francisco, CA”

  1. Kenneth Gregie Avatar
    Kenneth Gregie

    Ahh…….San Francisco–many fond memories of a trip there years ago, not the least of which is my favorite bridge in the world! BTW, did you know they filmed a good action-thriller movie at Alcatraz with Sean Connery, Nicolas Cage and Ed Harris called (most appropriately) The Rock?


    Glad to hear you made it this far. This blog is great and filled with so many wonderful pictures.

  3. Louise Avatar

    Rett, so exciting to see you at the Golden Gate Bridge entrance, ready to bike across with Neil into San Francisco. When the two of you started out from Redmond, San Francisco seemed far away. It’s an admirable and proud accomplishment! So I wonder, how many bike miles to this point? In the course of your posts, I’ve appreciated reading about your varied encounters with people. Love your photo of Simon with Rett! He looks so comfortable and totally engaged in listening and looking at the book! Soon he’ll be reading your blog.

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