SAN FRANCISCO BY BUS January 2, 2013

Seeking another low cost bus ride to an old destination, I woke up early on this day after the New Years. I made my reservation online, pleased that there was still room aboard the bus. It is quite the bargain that I can’t refuse.

Walking to the departure point, the bus came a bit late, but it was to be made up for by expedient driving. I shot video of the ride views as we motored west on Interstate 80, with sights familiar to the frequent traveler along this busy highway. I wasn’t able to connect with the free Wi-Fi as last time, but I was too busy capturing the sights. I haven’t been along I-80 here for some time, and it’s also been awhile since I last visited San Francisco, CA.

We arrived to the terminal on Fourth Street, ahead of the scheduled time. So, I had time to kill. My ride home wasn’t till 4 p.m., and I didn’t have concrete plans. This was a checkout for potential future rides, to points afar, a bus adventure op that can’t last for long at their loss.

I headed north on Fourth, with some plans for walking and dining. Passing under the freeway, I shortly passed by the Moscone Center, then came to Market Street. I wished to know how fast the new computers are, so got my hands on one. It is quite aggravating with freezes and slowness to work on my photos and panoramas, and there is some promise of further innovation.

I went by Union Square to see them taking down the holiday tree, and I am in no great need for clothes from the many department stores, here. I walked back northeast on Market, and came to Embarcadero Plaza. Entering the fine hotel that served us on so many urban hikes in the 1980’s, I looked at the restaurant menu. It would be 20 minutes to lunch, so I captured photos of the award winning interior, a marvelous sight still decorated in holiday cheer.

Taking my time, I had a Cobb Salad, and enjoyed the leisurely meal, with amazingly vacant tables all about. I see that this eatery isn’t highly rated, but the atmosphere is unbelievable. I finished and did more photos, and maybe someday I can afford to lodge here a night.

Going out onto the Embarcadero, I entered the old Ferry Building with new businesses and people to see it. Going on back to the pier out into the Bay, I did a panorama of the Bay Bridge, with lethargic seagulls standing about. The City is indeed a beautiful town, and it’s getting more modern. I headed south on the walkways, with runners and tourists. I just had to do a mile or two back to the bus station, and to use up some time.

They are doing more work on more development, and it’s going to be quite the destination. The Bay Bridge is slated to have a computer light display, coming by March, and it seems to be worth a gander, then. I came to AT&T Park, and took the walking trail around the stadium. Little mention of the 2012 World Series victory, outside the store, and some street banners. I came about to the front of the arena, and took pictures of the statue. Early on time, I had some drink, and then went back to the ballpark. Then it is a short stroll over to the bus station, where trains come in from the South Bay. With time, I walked a few blocks back north on Fourth, then I sat on a bench, how I may spend my later years, enjoying resting versus peak climbing.

The bus came by about on time, and I got aboard despite a good crowd of people. I had my heavy jacket back on, stripping down to a Hoody due to the warm sun. The ride started back home, and I shot some video back to the City as we crossed over the Bay Bridge, with sights of the new span still being worked on.

Again, I couldn’t get connected, but it is a short ride, and I busied myself with photos of the sunset and the passing scenery. I could have taken a later ride home, but wanted daylight to shoot by, and I was too filled up to dine more.

We came back to town right on time, and I sauntered through Old Sac where newspeople waited to cover a crime story. Onto the Kay, the new name for the main downtown street, I took plenty of night photos, wishing that I were hungry enough to eat, but I must stick to my diet. Feeling safe and having another successful walk at almost no cost, I finished my day in time to watch the last of the evening TV news.

Doing close to 4.5 miles in San Francisco, and some 3 more miles in town, I spent only about $23 for food and drink, with no shopping. The round trip ride came to 10 and a half dollars, with no hitches and a lot of happy people at the opportunity to save hugely. I supposed the miles traveled would be about 180. I captured 466 images and movie clips (233.3 MB, 720p HD, 8:29).

It had been a fair year, with 14 peaks. I used almost 400 gallons of gas, for about 15,000 miles of driving, due to my three big road trips, and no carpool ops coming for me. My hiking destinations aren’t mostly served by mass transit, and no hikers seem to wish to team up for travel as in the deep past.

I continued to offset my carbon emissions, even being carbon negative for the last decade or so. I saved some fuel usage by my lodging, instead of a day drive or similar, more practical when the price of gas was lower. I tipped pretty well for my dining, getting good service and fine food. I remain true to sustainability and healthy foods, with more ops for organic.

Only motoring in town about a thousand miles, my life is devoted now to road trips. My 2012 in-town walk log totaled about 1,178 miles, with fewer walks on the Parkway as I age. With roughly 222 miles and 37,200 feet of gain hiked on my 2012 out-of-town trips, I am not getting around in the wilderness as I used to. I suppose that I will get worse, but I am dieting, and maybe I can get better. My hale buddies made it to about 70 with their hiking, so I guess that I will see how I do!