February 4th, 2015

Orange Vespa Huskyteer

San Francisco, Day 9: Exodus (19/01)

Today - Monday, and Martin Luther King Day - was the day we parted from Kate and Tom and upped sticks to, well, the sticks: Pleasant Hill, a community east of San Francisco and reachable on the BART light rail. Here one of my longtime forum friends and riding buddies, Jim, has made his home, having very sensibly fallen for a Californian he met on a scootering holiday.

We said farewell to Haight-Ashbury with a last walk around the area, and a last brunch with our hosts. (Howard had a Bloody Mary with what looked like an entire vegetable rack sticking out of it.) Then it was time to tackle our long trek by public transport, taking us under the bay to Contra Costa County.

Pleasant Hill was indeed pleasant in the late afternoon, and very quiet after the city. We had been instructed by email to get a taxi, but there weren't any in sight. Helped by a friendly stranger, we got on a bus, which deposited us on a street which might or might not have been somewhere near our destination.

It was dark by the time we reached the right address, with a little help from a Radio Shack employee and none at all from the guy at the petrol station, and we were very glad to be welcomed into a warm home by Jim, Kristin, several cats, and Freddo the Chihuahua cross, who barked as fiercely as his tiny lungs would allow. Soon drinks were being pressed into our hands and burritos phoned for.

By the end of the next day, Howard and I would be wondering how we too could arrange to emigrate.

Garage, Haight-Ashbury (detail)

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