California, here we come! (Road trip 2018 – part 9)

Day 12 – Fremont, CA – Muir Woods National Monument, CA – San Francisco, CA

Fremont-MuirWoods-SanFrancisco

After a great time visiting Tesla factory in Fremont we drove through San Francisco to Muir Woods National Monument. Thanks to the power of the Internet we managed to schedule both events on the same day, giving ourselves some leeway in case there’s a delay. If you plan to visit the latter one make sure that you book in advance – parking reservation is required as space is limited. You don’t want to drive all the way just to be turned back.

I have been to San Francisco many times, but this would be the first visit when I bring my family along. Needless to say, I was very excited when crossing the Golden Gate Bridge. I’ve done it in the past on foot, walking all the way from the Financial District and back! This will be the first time driving through the bridge in the car. What an experience! Thanks to the dash camera capturing our adventure I can share it here as well.

The road leading to Muir Woods is not for the faint at heart. Winding and often narrowing down without any guardrails separating the driver from the sharp drop requires full attention. I’m somewhat experienced with traversing this type of mountain roads, so it wasn’t a problem. Tesla is a big (and wide) car though, so extra caution doesn’t hurt.

It took us a while to find a vacant parking spot despite having a valid reservation. There are spots dedicated to EVs (with L2 charging) but somehow they were taken when we arrived. A minor inconvenience, but oh well. I’m glad I had sufficient charge, otherwise I would have to coach there and wait till the other drivers were ready to leave.

The forest though… what a humbling experience. To think that most of the trees are 600-800 years old with the oldest is close to 1200 years. Imagine that they can grow up to 2200 years – they would witness pre-Christian era all the way to modern times. If they had thoughts what would be their impression of human impact on the planet? They can withstand occasional droughts and fires, but will they survive our age of exploitation and negligence? Will they adapt to climate change? I sure hope so. I hope they are still here long after we are gone, so that future generations can enjoy their presence. As for myself, I felt privileged to be able to witness their majesty and walk in the tranquility of their shade. It has been long on my bucket list to visit Muir Woods, so to be able to do so is a fulfillment of a dream.

Concluding our visit in the park we headed back to San Francisco where we would spend the next couple of days. First, we had to find a way back. It gets tricky when you are out of cellular range (no GPS or map refresh) and you make a wrong turn. You have to drive up and down the road for a few miles before finding a suitable spot to turn around. Again, am I glad that I had enough of charge! First world problems, I know. Amazing how quickly we go from facing the monumental nature to the trivia of our present day living.

Day 13 – San Francisco, CA

I won’t spend much time writing about San Francisco, there’s hardly anything new I could contribute to the word that has already been written on this city by the bay. Two pieces of advice I can offer though:

  • If you plan to drive into the city and stay overnight make sure that you choose a hotel with private parking or a place where there’s monitoring. San Francisco is plagued with vehicle break-ins (especially Teslas!). Even when caught red-handed the perpetrators usually don’t face any charges and you will end up paying for the repairs by yourself. Don’t leave anything in sight that might prove valuable.
  • If you stay for at least a full day it makes sense to purchase a Muni pass (mobile option is the way to go). You can hop on and off any public transportation with ease.

To be continued…

 

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