Sagebrush to skycrapers


Day 23: Harbin Hot Springs to Vallejo, 72 miles

A fitful night sleeping, dreams of chaos at the restaurant, then visiting Zach’s father, and me waking myself by talking aloud, a lot!  Must’ve been curious to the co-sleepers on the porch, wondering what conversations I was having in dreamland.  I packed my bike, chatted with the curious onlooker who wanted to know how far I was going, how I got there.  I indulged him, then rolled on down the long hill to Middletown.

The ride out Pope Valley is a delight.  Very little traffic, fairly good pavement, mostly a long gradual descent. The little used highway passes large pastures, lakes, scrubby hills, narrow wooded canyons, some of the nastiest thorn bushes I’ve ever seen, and of course, vineyards, vineyards, vineyards.  The road spills out onto the Silverado Trail after 39 miles, just 16 miles west of Napa.  And then, more vineyards.

I stopped for more espresso in Napa and to check the Vallejo ferry schedule, and realized I could make the 4:45pm to San Francisco.  Back on the road, I found myself on a busy 4 lane highway, headed south past cars crawling in a traffic jam.  How fun to cruise by them on the shoulder, feeling a bit vindicated in the oddity of my vehicle.

The ferry brought me through San Pablo Bay, and then across to San Francisco.  The fog encroached as we neared the peninsula, passed Alcatraz and then docked near Pier 1 at the Ferry Terminal.  Then just a short ride downtown to the hostel, to a hot shower and warm bed.  Nothing better after a long day’s journey.


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