8/4 Day 24 - After a great nights sleep we woke up to more food. Yogurt, fruit and English muffins. We ate so much. We decided to try to leave kinda early so we could meet back up with Shawn eventually and have extra time to hang out in SF. We said our goodbyes and thank you's and headed out.
We had a pretty big hill to climb that super sucked but after that it wasn't too bad. The hill took us into the state park that Shawn stayed at and lucky for us he was just leaving the bathroom when we pulled up. He and Ethan checked out our route while I tried to stretch my nagging knee pain out that had been annoying me since the day before. It seemed to be getting worse too, so I warned the guys that I was still on the struggle bus and I would probably need to take it slow.
We went a few miles and came to our next hill. I guess we hit the bike touring friend jackpot because before we started on the hill Shawn offered to take some of my heavy stuff for me. Yes! It was awesome. We headed up the hill and continued on to Fairbanks. When we got into town Shawn noticed a diner that had gotten good ratings online. We had to stop for some brunch. We ate a ton of food and it was awesome. We were, after all, celebrating Shawn's last day riding.
After we stuffed ourselves we were headed to REI for some equipment refills. We needed toe clips for our bikes to give us a little help, more fuel for the stove, Clif bars and shot bloks, and bike grease for my pedals. We were like kids in a candy store. It was hard to leave. :] We also returned our solar charger because it didn't work very well.
We were all excited about crossing the Golden Gate Bridge though so we had to press on. It didn't take us long to get to Sausalito where the bridge starts. We had a few very steep hills to climb (that I ended up walking) to get to the start. Unfortunately, when we got there. The fog was so thick that you really could only see the roadway. It was a bummer but we took a bunch of pictures anyway. The bridge was much busier than I expected and there were a ton of people on rented bicycles going across. It was nice though because one whole side of the bridge's sidewalk was reserved for biking. Cool. That made it really easy and much less stressful than some of the bridges we've been over.
It was super windy going across and the boats going underneath honked really loud and scared the crap out of me. It was pretty cool though. Once we crossed we took the bike route down to Fisherman's Wharf where, conveniently, there was an In 'N Out Burger. Fisherman's Wharf was interesting. It wasn't as old and fishy as I was expecting. Anyway, In 'N Out Burger was delicious and when we were done we headed out to check out Lombard St (the super twisty road). We had to go up some seriously outrageous steep hills to get there and it really wasn't that cool. I really don't even know why they made a road like that. After that we went up a couple more really steep hills (pretty much to the highest point in SF) and then down to our hotel. It was right on union square, which is basically like Michigan Ave in Chicago. Shopping everywhere. It was so tempting.
Anyway, Shawn checked in, but the room was a little small so we had to have the door man stash the bikes in the basement overnight. No big deal. We went up to the room and chilled for a while. It had been a long day. After we showered, we decided to meet up with one of Shawn's old friends Joel from high school. We decided to take the subway there mainly because my knee hurt pretty bad and it was 2 miles away. When we went to get our tickets Shawn got harassed by some crazy homeless lady and we saw a guy with essentially no pants on. Not exactly what we were expecting but we continued on.
We met up with Joel and his fiancé Molly at a bar then we went to this "bowling club" that Molly is part owner of. Its basically a bar/restaurant/bowling alley. It was awesome. The food was great and you could watch people bowl. There were only 6 lanes, but it was still pretty cool. We stayed there and chatted with them for a while. Then it was time for sleeping. We got back on the subway and headed back to the hotel. We saw some more interesting people, but we made it back safely. We pretty much went straight to bed. It had been a great day and we got a little taste of normalcy. Just a little. :]