PCH Tour: Visiting Google and GitHub

San Francisco from Twin Peaks

Day 45 – I started the day a bit late. Paul headed out and we said our goodbyes. I’d be packing up my gear and taking the bike over to Oakland to stay a night at Joel’s before Paul got home. I met Joel back in the Redwoods, when he was camping from his motorcycle for the weekend. He also invited me to have lunch at Google in downtown. I was excited! I got ready and headed out the door.

First, I grabbed a cafe latte at Four Barrels Coffee in the Mission District. I also got a blackberry pistachio croissant. It was freaking amazing. I want another right now… Russ messaged me online asking for the down low on the Golden Gate bridge. After I finished my coffee, I tried giving him a call, but just got the voicemail. I thought about taking the bus downtown, but I decided to make the 2.5 mile walk.

I went through some rough looking areas next to the overpass. Homeless people were smoking weed and hanging out around their makeshift tents. I passed by without incident. For the most part, people don’t bother you. Especially during the day. It was a long walk, but I like getting up close to a city, away from all of the touristy and ritzy areas. Places where the real, everyday city happens.

I made it to the financial district about 25 minutes before lunch. I figured I’d grab a cold Sturbucks and relax for a bit before heading over to Google. I ordered an iced mocha and sat down. Just then Russ called me back. I let him know my route over the bridge. All of the maps and blog posts that we’d been reading made the crossing seem way more difficult than it actually was.

We chatted a bit and then I told him I was gong to grab lunch with Joel. I walked over to Google’s San Francisco office. This was so cool. I remember the first time I was in San Francisco with my sister, Candace. We drove up to Google’s headquarters in Mountain View and stared out the window at the building. The tech geek in me was giddy. I walked into the building and up to the 4th floor. Joel was sitting there when I arrived. He signed me in and took me up to the dining area.

They had some great food and sparkling water on tap. We sat at a table that looked out over the Bay Bridge. It was great catching up. I told him about the last week of my journey and we talked about his coming motorcycle adventure to Australia. After finishing our food, we grabbed some awesome little chocolate chip cookies and went out to the balcony. They looked like regular chocolate chip cookies, but they were salted. I never had them like that, but the salty sweetness was great.

We talked more about adventure, tech and San Francisco. Joel had to get back to work, so we parted ways and planned to meet at the ferry dock around 5:30pm. I walked out of Google and down to the Embarcadero. There was a great view of the bay and the Bay Bridge. I took a bunch of photos, making my way to the ferry building. I wanted to catch up on my posts, so I found another Starbucks and ducked in for some power and wifi. I got some work done, then remembered that Mislav, whom I met in Portland, had mentioned spending some time in San Francisco. I figured I’d shoot him a Facebook message and see where he was at.

It so happened that he just got into the GitHub office a little bit ago. It was only a mile and a half away. He invited me to stop by, so I made the hike over. Mislav greeted me outside. He gave me a tour of the awesome setup they had. There were lounge areas and open offices. They even had an “Oval Office” at the guest entrance. I couldn’t believe I was seeing 2 big tech companies in 1 day. We grabbed some drinks and went up to the roof to catch up.

Mislav told all kinds of great stories about his recent experience at Burning Man. He really enjoyed the event and the spirit of it all. I told him about all of the amazing people that I met and sights I’d seen, after leaving Portland. We had a great talk. Eventually we made our way back down through the building. He offered me some sparkling water out of a tap as well. Sparkling water must be a big deal in San Francisco. I could get used to it. We said our goodbyes and talked about possibly meeting up in LA at the end of the month.

By that time it was getting late. I needed to rush back to the Mission District, load my bike, and ride it down to the ferry to meet Joel. I grabbed an Uber and quickly shot across town. I tossed everything together and put my panniers on the bike. I shoved off and pedaled hard back toward downtown and the ferry dock. I made great time powering through the bike lanes. It took me less than 20 minutes to get across town. I showed up to the ferry a little before Joel and waited for him to arrive.

We hopped on and I dropped my bike off downstairs so we could go sit outside on the deck. It was a sunny afternoon, as the ferry chugged across the bay for Oakland. Amanda, a friend of Joel’s, spotted us and sat down to chat. We all had a funny talk about the different perks of the tech, advertising and film industries. Apparently, advertising is really like the show Mad Men.

We docked in Oakland and I dropped my bike off at Joel’s apartment. From there we walked over to a great burger / pub joint. I got a bacon infused, bacon covered burger and a beer. We ate and chatted and headed back to Joel’s. He mixed up some tasty whiskey cocktails and we sat around for a while longer talking about his trip to Australia. He had a giant map of the country with highlighted motorcycle routes. He planned to start in the West around Perth, and make his way south and then to the east. From there he’d hit Melbourne, Sydney and maybe make his way up to the northeast. It sounded amazing, and I was feeling a bit jealous. I needed to get to Australia at some point. From there the conversation went to movies and TV shows. We both agreed that Adventure Time was an awesome show. It was getting late, so we turned in for the night. This trip continued to bring me in contact with amazing experiences and people.

(Repost of my 2014 Pacific Coast Tour Instagrams)



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