Sunday, December 4, 2011

On the Way to San Francisco

Last Wednesday, I headed down to Oregon leaving behind the Chinook winds and unseasonably warm temperatures back in Fairbanks. This is after we had an equally unusual extended cold snap. The temperature has swung 70°F from -30°F to +40°F. Hopefully, we don't get rain like we did last year right before Thanksgiving. This photo is of Mount St. Helens during the flight from Seattle to Portland. The mountain is one of the most spectacular around when flying over and I don't think that I will ever tire of seeing it. This visit wasn't for a happy event but it was great to see all of my siblings and my mom as well as a few of my cousins.

On Saturday morning, I joined Troubadour & Trobaritz at their regular Saturday morning coffee with other riders in the area. It was frosty and foggy and due to the high humidity, it really felt pretty chilly. Troubadour really wanted help and encouragement for the scooter sidecar project in his last post. (At least I'm pretty sure he did...) I have been slacking off for the last couple of weeks on my walking so this was a great opportunity to put in a few miles again. I did manage thirty miles this week. On Saturday evening, I drove back to Portland since I had a morning flight to San Francisco and didn't want to deal with the fog between Corvallis and Portland with a time deadline. And thank you Trobairitz for the Indian buffet recommendation near the airport. No pictures as I forgot my phone and camera but the food was pretty good, a large variety but none were really hot. So it was a very short visit to Corvallis. I'll be back again at the end of this week for about five days.

Today, I arrived in San Francisco and there is quite a crowd here for the AGU meeting. This was the first time I ever had to wait in a Disneyland style line for a BART ticket at the airport. I think there is something like 20k people attending this year. I went low budget on the hotel and staying at Hotel Vertigo, an older hotel on Nob Hill which has been nicely renovated. The front desk told me that a couple of scenes from the 1958 Alfred Hitchcock movie Vertigo were shot at the hotel.

For dinner, I visited (again) a San Francisco landmark Tommy's Joynt. They basically have roast, stewed or braised anything you want but I'm partial to the lamb shanks (Sundays and Thursdays only). No food pictures as nicely presented dishes are not what they are known for. Just good food in a very casual atmosphere. I was reminded of this place while watching the Food Network show Diners, Drive-ins and Dives over Thanksgiving break. TV is very bad for your health. And this is not the place to go if you are vegetarian. The good part is I walked about nine miles today and the hotel is uphill from just about anywhere.


  1. Richard

    I wish I was inspired enugh to walk like you do, I used to walk everywhere, but I have become a little sedentary over the last few years. I think I may start walking home from work on the days I don't take the bike or scoot, its a good 1 hour walk.

  2. SanFran with a bit of company? What a horrid life you lead.

    Behind Bars - Motorcycles and Life

  3. Glad the Indian buffet worked out okay. I haven't eaten there before but noticed it dropping my mom off at the hotel last year.

    The Hotel Vertigo looks really neat. Just a few blocks from where we stayed in August. I agree, sure is uphill from anywhere. Just think of all the walking you'd get in.

    Feel free to drop in for coffee Saturday if you are still in town - that is if we didn't scare you away. We're a crazy bunch.

  4. Dar:
    I used to walk a lot some thirty years ago but got pretty sedentary with family, kids, etc. (that's right, blame it on them!) but about 2005, I started walking a lot due to a wellness incentive program at the university. In fact, that is the origin of this blog as they were looking for people to write about their activities.

    Yes, a science conference with 20,000 of your closest friends. You should be used to that! One of the real negatives is that all of the restaurants are crowded.

    The Indian buffet was a nice treat and something I wasn't aware of when looking for a hotel near the airport. Thank you for the suggestion. I did notice that the White Swan Inn is only a short distance away on the next street. I don't get back into Corvallis until late afternoon on Saturday but thank you!

  5. Richard:

    Not many years ago I used to walk a lot too, taking photos all around town. Not so much lately as my foot complains and also I am out of shape. I am more accustomed to having a throttle.

    a few days ago we were feeling sorry for you being all frozen in the north, and now we are envious of you down in California

    Riding the Wet Coast

  6. Bob:
    The weather here in San Francisco is very painful. I don't know how to deal with the blindingly bright sun and miserably hot temperatures. It must be getting up well into the 60's (°F).