California Ξ Gateway to the Bay
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I arrived in San Jose and was surprised by the landscape of Silicon Valley. Different from anything on the East Coast, it was surprising to be driving by office parks and see amazing mountains (I'm told they call them hills) towering in the background. I went to pick up my rental car, a Nissan 350Z I rented in anticipation of a "sprited" drive down Highway 1 to Big Sur. The rental place didn't have the Z, and gave me a Mustang and a gift certificate instead. I wasn't really upset until the Mustang developed a check engine light and a slow leak in the rear tire about 30 miles later on my way into San Francisco for dinner and photography. After many angry words with various rental agents as I limped the Mustang back to the rental place I was offered an interesting substitute. Hertz wouldn't give me the famous "special Mustang" that I demanded, but they did give me my second choice. More on that later...


In any case, my first night in California blown, I got dinner and went to bed. I woke up the next day and headed for San Francisco. I was dismayed to find that I was completely unable to park in any of the places I had planned to explore that day. So far, I was unimpressed with California. Frustrated, and with precious time in San Francisco burning, I headed for the coast and Lincoln Park. This was the turning point of the trip. Again I was blown away by the coast of California. I managed to shoot through a 2 gig card in no time on the blustery shore of the Pacific ocean side of the Golden Gate.


This is a 360 degree panorama taken from an elevated point in Lincoln Park. Someone had built an interesting rock design on the path below which tourists seemed to be enjoying walking through (OK I walked through it too). Click here for a high res version.