Ready to Hit the Road

June 19th, 2015

      Monday morning (June 22nd) will see me escaping the desert’s heat and heading for the cooler temperatures that currently prevail in the San Francisco Bay Area. My plan is to give the new BMW a chance to taste the open road and for me to take a short vacation from the grueling lifestyle that’s part of the Golden Years retirement experience I’m becoming more adept at surmounting.

     Monday, following a drive up Highway 395 on the eastern side of the Sierra Nevada, I’ll overnight at the Austria Hof Lodge in Mammoth Lakes. It’s an area I saw many times during my years of backpacking and peak climbing (also referred to as “peak bagging“) in the Sierras.

     Tuesday’s itinerary is to travel the Tioga Pass route through Yosemite National Park to an early lunch stop at Tuolumne Meadows. The remainder of the day I’ll be enroute to the Guerneville community in the Russian River area.

     Tuesday though Thursday morning I’ll remain in Guerneville, a community where I resided before moving to Palm Springs in 2002. It’ll be my first return to the area since that time. I plan to visit old friends and tour the countryside including Duncans Mills, Armstrong Woods State Reserve and the nearby Pacific Coastal region.  I hope to add a side trip to the Charles Schulz Snoopy Museum in Santa Rosa to my schedule.

     Thursday’s plan is for an after lunch stop in San Rafael to visit with Sierra Club hiking friends from my days as a hike leader on nearby Mt. Tamalpais. We hiked many miles together (including hundreds of cumulative foot elevation totals) during a ten year period that ended in early 1998.

     Thursday through Sunday I’ll be in San Mateo luxuriating in my exclusive use of a Palm Springs friend’s condo. I’ll probably commute into San Francisco each day via CalTrain or BART. I’ve been advised parking in San Francisco is practically nonexistent. Commuting won’t be a problem for that was my preferred mode of travel during the thirty years of my residency there.

     Friday will be my first day visiting in San Francisco. It’s a city where I lived and worked until I retired in 1998. That evening I’ve been invited to accompany friends to the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus – Elton: The Sing-Along performance at The Nourse.

      Saturday morning at 7 am I plan to be on the top of Twin Peaks to help with the 20th Anniversary installation of the Pink Triangle display on the side of the mountain. There will be mid-morning ceremonies commemorating the installation. Visiting dignitaries usually include politicians, both local and national, and others who support the message the display is intended to convey. It’s an annual event in which I participated in 1999, 2000 and 2001. Later in the day I’ll join friends and visit areas where special activities will be occurring in conjunction with Pride Weekend festivities.

     Sunday morning there will be a huge Pride Day parade on Market Street and I’ll join friends for viewing it. Afterwards we plan to visit the party area near City Hall following the parade’s ending. Since the visit will mark my first return to the City since 2001 my friends have mentioned a number of changes (Yerba Buena Gardens, etc.) have occurred and I hope to see some of them later that day.

     Monday morning I’ll be heading south to the Quality Inn & Suites in Santa Maria for an overnight stay.

     Tuesday, the last day of June, I’ll stop in Pasadena for lunch with my sister before continuing my return route home in Palm Springs.

     It’s my suspicion the new car will be rather tired following its “taste of the open road” and perhaps ready for a quiet 4th of July.

Bond Shands
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Twitter Handle – @BondShands

Pink Triangle


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