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Thursday, July 31, 2008

Random Thoughts / Observations

First, I do wish I had had cell reception when I was out in the wilderness, just because it would have made this blog far more interesting. I would have liked to have kept up with the updates, both for my own enjoyment and the enjoyment of anyone who is reading this.

Some thoughts about San Francisco :
- As with most "modern" cities, I'm always amazed at the urban planning that goes into these places. Streets are numbered intelligently and are relatively easy to navigate (minus the hills). The public transportation, while confusing at first glance, is at least well-maintained and very efficient - not only did BART stations have digital readouts telling you how long until the next train, what type of train it was, and how big it was, but even some BUS stops had similar information. Imagine, a digital display at a bus stop telling you how long until your bus arrives.
- I may have mentioned it below - I can't remember - but I am absolutely amazed by the weather in the Bay area. San Francisco in particular is mind-boggling. There are a half a dozen different micro-climates within the city proper. If you're over by the Golden Gate bridge, it is almost always cloudy, foggy, cold and windy. On the other side of town (maybe 4 miles away), it is much more sunny, warmer, less windy. Inland it is even warmer. I mean, I'm used to it being cooler by the water, that's common, but this is way more than the usual ocean breeze we're talking about here.
- Beyond the city itself, the entire peninsula is similarly varied. From San Francisco to San Jose is 50 miles, and just when I was there, the average temperature in San Fran was around 60, while the temperature in San Jose was near 90. That's a crazy difference, and you didn't need to go all the way to San Jose to feel it - just at my sister's place in Redwood City, maybe halfway between the two, was similarly as hot as San Jose. Even while doing my drive along the coast, far south of the Bay, it stayed cool and foggy for the entire drive, but the few times I ventured inland during that trip the temperature immediately went up almost 20 degrees and the clouds cleared. Just fascinating to me.

I'm sure I'll think of more little tidbits when I do my photo recap next week.

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