"Make no small plans".
Daniel Burnham, designer of the Plan of Chicago, 1909.
Fifty five years ago, Allied forces stormed the beaches of Normandy, beginning the invasion that would win Europe back from Hitler and ensure that our nation would remain a free society. One freedom that we take for granted as Americans is freedom of movement. Without those who sacrificed their lives on D-Day, I might not have the liberty to do what I am doing today.
Assembling the bike at San Francisco International baggage claim.
June 6, 1999 at Ocean Beach, San Francisco, California
Besides dipping the back wheel into the Pacific, I took a vial of Pacific Ocean water to carry with me to pour into the Atlantic.
Today is a day when pictures will speak louder than words. This is the day when all the classwork, all the web sites, all the deadlines are in the past, and I get to ACTUALLY DO THIS THING. John Steinbeck once observed that there comes a time in planning any trip where you doubt it will ever happen. He's right.
Observation: this is a big nation. Can I actually do this?
The first flat tire of the trip came in the airport while I was still loading up the bike. Found out that one of my brand new tires had a faulty rim. (That's why we carry spare tires.)
Three things the pictures can't show:
The Smell- You know you're in California as soon as you get that eucalyptus tree smell . It's so clean and fresh..
The Temperature - If you were walking, it was comfortable. On the bike, I was chilly most of the day. Temperature about 60 degrees, but it was the wind that killed. It must have been 25 mph, straight off the ocean. When I was on the beach, it was a regular sand storm. It really cut down the mph average.
How great San Francisco is. What a beautiful city. The City.
Father Junipero Serra was instrumental in establishing these missions all through California. See the California state web site for good links.
Alcatraz Island, home of Al Capone (and others)
Two California natives: me and the Golden Gate Bridge
(OK, U.S. History students - What was the Golden DOOR?)
San Francisco coastline, taken from Golden Gate Bridge
(see San Francisco web site for great Bridge links)
Muir Woods: the last thing a picture can't show, the feeling you get when you stand in the presence of redwood trees.
DGN folks - Remember Sue Baldwin from our library? She and her husband Jim moved out here several years ago. They picked me up tonight and brought me to their house where I will stay the night with them.
California agrees with them.
Initial Message (6/5) Next Day (6/7)