In September of 2015, I moved from Madison, WI to San Francisco, CA. In lieu of flying direct, I thought I would find myself an adventure. I set off heading north with a flight to Alaska to meet my friend Drew, who had been driving around the country. We, rather unfortunately, hit the road immediately driving towards Washington through quite possibly some of the most beautiful mountain scenery of which I’ve ever been immersed. After ~4 days of near continuous driving, we arrived in Seattle where I was met by my bike which had hitched a ride out west with some relocating friends.
Here I packed up my panniers with a pretty light supply of clothes, supplies and snacks, and hit the road to tackle the 1000 miles of road between Seattle and San Francisco on my first bike touring adventure.
Below is a roughly accurate map of the route I took with each of the Biker/Hiker campsites I stayed at:
Before I left Madison, despite having very limited space for only the absolutely necessary items on my bike, I decided to pack a can of beer from a local brewery with the intent of taking pictures of it along my trip and drinking it upon my arrival at the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco. The true motivations for this are a bit unclear. Perhaps it was meant as a reminder not to focus too hard on the biking and miss out on the rest of the experience. Or maybe it was a symbolic token during this transitory period in my life that I will always carry a piece Madison with me.
But I think it was mainly because I thought it would be funny. And it would make for some neat pictures.
Unfortunately, when I got into California I accidentally punctured the can in my bag as I was about to go to sleep. I attempted to fix the leak with my Tire Patch Kit to no avail, so I decided despite being a couple days short of SF I would fill it with sand to prevent dents and continue to take pictures. And of course I had to choke down a sip or two before slinking into my sleeping bag for my nighttime coma.
On the 13th day of riding, after 100 miles and a quite painful traverse of Mt. Tam, I arrived at the Golden Gate Bridge to find Drew awaiting me with an extraordinarily satisfying Anchor Steam. Though it hadn’t made the trek that my Great Dane had been through, it was a suitable greeting to the city that was to become my new home.