I left my bone in San Francisco

I left my bone in San Francisco

November 10, 2015 1 Comment


Told in the collective first person, jointly from Stu and Janell Clarke's perspective.

Narrated Audio Blog

We arrived in San Francisco the day before Halloween and intended to stay just two nights before heading south but instead hung around for six days. Who can resist San Francisco, right? A great city is one thing, but what makes a stay "frantastic" is the company. We'd contacted Paige through TentSpace a few days before arriving, Paige had a no bullshit attitude, you wanted to stay with her you picked up the phone and called. We knew from the outset we were going to like Paige. Calling a TentSpace host is actually unusual, most contact to hosts is made via messages, in fact we'd never spoken to a host before arrival in all our prior experience with TentSpace.

Janell's bike outside San Francisco's Painted Ladies
Janell's bike outside San Francisco's Painted Ladies

Paige was a chef and part time property developer. What a combination, not only did she cook amazing meals, she put us up in a house next door which she had recently purchased to renovate. The house wasn't anything to write home about, or was it? There was limited power and no running water, the walls were rotting with large sections of plasterboard missing and there were plants growing down from the ceiling. A most fitting dwelling to spend Halloween! We did however, only sleep there, we socialised and used the ablutions at Paige's house.

 

Visiting a winery with Paige
Visiting a winery with Paige

 

 

Weeti and Shadow playing with Dr Diego
Weeti and Shadow playing with Dr Diego

 

Paige was a busy lady and couldn't spend the entire time with us. For Halloween we caught the tram (with our girls) into the Central Embarcadero Piers Historic District and walked along the foreshore. The effort people had gone to with their costumes was on a whole other level and this was only during the day, imagine what the place would be like at night. But we wouldn't find out, we returned the girls to the house with the intention of heading out to see the nightlife but when we got in our tiredness got the better of us and we got something to eat locally and called it a night.

 

Janell and the Golden Gate Bridge
Janell and the Golden Gate Bridge

 

 

Weeti and the Golden Gate Bridge
Weeti and the Golden Gate Bridge

 

Paige made sure we saw plenty of the city during her time off and she was well informed on the best new restaurants, coffee shops and exciting activities. Some highlights were a winery tasting in Bonny Doon, Riding across the Golden Gate Bridge, experiencing nitrous coffee and riding Lombard Rd. San Francisco has some very steep and windy roads, lots that haven't made it into the movies. Paige had a 1200GS with a sidecar that she co-owned with a friend, Chris in Mexico and took us (Stu pillion and Janell in the sidecar) up and down some of these more infamous roads. It was a thrilling experience. But after nearly a week of hanging out and getting to know Paige we again needed to say our goodbyes. So it was back on the bikes and off we rode.

 

1200GS with a sidecar
1200GS with a sidecar

 

While serving in South Sudan Stu had made a couple of friends in the US military and of course promised to visit when he travelled through. Both conveniently enough were called Chris and both were living in California. We made sure to meet up with both Chris's for a meal and drink and talk about old times. Unfortunately there is never enough time with these kinds of encounters but it was good to recall so many good stories even for just a little while.

 

Dinner with Chris
Dinner with Chris

 

 

Drinks with Chris
Drinks with Chris

 

We made the obligatory visit to Hollywood Boulevard and got photos with the "Stars" but this was only a brief stop enroute to San Diego. One of Janell's cousins had invited us to stay with her and promised to show us around her neck of the woods, and again were we in for some serious spoiling.

 

Shadow with Tom Hanks star
Shadow with Tom Hanks star

 

 

Weeti with the Hollywood Sign
Weeti with the Hollywood Sign

 

Kim was genuinely excited to have us come and stay, she had been a passionate follower of our story since the beginning and never failed to keep up with our activities. She too was very active and as well as showing us the best "hole in the wall" Mexican joints she organised for us all to go kayaking and dog walking and get out to some pretty fancy beachside bars. Kim also decided it was time for Stu to get a haircut, after nearly 2 years. Stu wasn't overly excited about it but Kim didn't really ask, it was just going to happen. It was all a conspiracy contrived by Kim and Janell, but man it was nice to see his handsome head again. Really what chance does a man have against two determined ladies.

Breakfast out with Kim in San Diego
Breakfast out with Kim in San Diego
Shadow getting cosy with Kim
Shadow getting cosy with Kim

We weren't intending to return to San Diego after we departed, our route was to take us down Baja and then by ferry over to the mainland and travel back up to New York via Texas. After a week of good times and good food it was time to say a fond farewell to Kim. Little did we know that we'd be back knocking on Kim's door within a month.

Route through California
Route through California


1 Response

EH Alberts
EH Alberts

April 04, 2020

Love the audio blog format!

Leave a comment

Comments will be approved before showing up.

Are you a Dog Person?
Do you Love to Ride?

Click below for more information on how you can take your best friend along on your next biking adventure

Also in Dog Blog

Pet Movement through Southern Africa
Pet Movement through Southern Africa

July 27, 2017

We'd had issues entering South Africa from Namibia due to the dogs, but it was easy enough to overcome. What was needed was an animal import permit. Once issued this document could be used to import an animal into any of the Southern African Customs Union (SACU) countries and was valid for 30 days. Getting the animal import permit in Namibia had been straight forward. We visited the state vet near the South African border and they checked our paperwork and produced the permit on the spot. But our stay in South Africa had extended beyond the 30 days, which meant we'd need a new permit to continue travelling through the customs union. Obtaining the permit in South Africa proved to be a little more bureaucratic than Namibia. We visited a local vet who explained that they would normally conduct a preliminary examination and then send off the documents to Johannesburg for the permit with a turnaround time of up to 3 weeks. The local vet suggested that if we had time we could walk the doc...

Read More

Vineyards & Wildlife, South Africa
Vineyards & Wildlife, South Africa

July 25, 2017

We spent two fantastic months in South Africa. But it almost didn't happen, sorting out paperwork problems for the dogs took us three attempts to cross from Namibia into South Africa. Tensions were high for two very important reasons. Firstly, we'd sent Janell's motorbike ahead to Pretoria after its breakdown in northern Namibia. And secondly, Janell's mother (Pauline) was flying into Cape Town on 11 June to spend 5 weeks travelling with us. So we needed to cross into South Africa one way or another. The most direct route to Janell's motorbike in Pretoria was via the Ariamsvlei Border Crossing. We arrived at the border and started processing our checkout of Namibia and then into South Africa. We were almost through when the customs official asked us for the Animal Movement Permits for the girls. We didn't know what they were and simply showed the EU PETS Passports. The official explained that we should have obtained the permit in Namibia before attempting to cross the border, we beg...

Read More

Namibia
Namibia

May 24, 2017

The Republic of Namibia reminded us of central Australia. There is so much untouched country, desert left to the animals that can survive there.  It was the first time in Africa we really felt remote, away from people and infrastructure. Namibia is a large country but with only a small population of 3 million yet it's in a better economic situation than its northern neighbour Angola. I think what we enjoyed so much was the 'western' luxuries in towns and cities but then being able to leave those behind to be in the wild. The best of both worlds. We thoroughly enjoyed our time in Namibia, even with the breakdowns we experienced. Welcome to Namibia Elephant Poo We did a lot of camping in Namibia and we seemed to have the campsites to ourselves. Using iOverlander for recommendations/reviews we chose campsites set up near known waterholes where wild animals would frequent at certain times of the year. We were again on the lookout for elephants. There were plenty of road signs indicat...

Read More