Into the fog

Day 12: San Francisco to Half Moon Bay, 31 miles

I’m up early, eager to get back on the road. I pedal up the hill on Haight, through the mythic Haight Ashbury neighborhood, where the Summer of Love was born so many years ago. Now it been gentrified, no hippies could afford the rents here. Upscale Tie-Dye shops? A virtual psychedelic experience is advertised at the Exploratorium. The only folks up at 7am on a Sunday are rummaging through the garbage for returnables.

I skirt the peninsula on the Grand Highway, Pacific Ocean obscured by a thick fog. Seems apropos, as San Francisco is known for such chilly weather. I ride through to Pacifica, stopping for coffee at the Chit-Chat Cafe. I’m happy to hear some live music, two middle aged guys on guitars playing Beatles covers. Also apropos. Then a jazz band. More coffee. I know it won’t keep the chill out, but it gets me going.

On down Highway 1, which climbs up over the San Mateo range. I’m excited to go through the Devil’s Slide tunnels, just opened this spring. Kind of surreal, my own wide lane, traffic lights, steel casement, then concrete textured to look like stone. Why? Out into the light again, the highway improvements continue all the way to Half Moon Bay. There I sail past a miles-long traffic jam of families heading to the Pumpkin Festival. Sometimes bikes are much faster.

I walk through the Pumpkin Fest, throngs of people, kids, dogs, dogs in baskets, dogs on bikes, walking with my bike is an impediment. I listen to a little music, browse some crafts, think of how this is our version of the market square, the temporary festival. Locals say the chilly weather is typical, all summer at Half Moon Bay.

I tire of people watching, get some groceries and head to camp. I set up, take a mercifully hot shower, eat dinner and then crawl into my sleeping bag. I am chilled to the bone. Glad for the new sleeping bag, for wool socks and wool gloves and a wool hat. I hear another cyclist show up, poke my head out of my tent to say hi. Then I’m off to sleep. Dreams come tonight. The surf pounds the shore just past the dunes.

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