We finally made it this afternoon to the Western Terminus Marker at the end of the Lincoln Highway in Lincoln Park, San Francisco. Although we only drove around 200 miles, this involved a descent from over 7,000ft at the Donner Summit to sea level and a reduction in temperature from the 99 degrees we were experiencing in Reno and North Tahoe, to 66 degrees, cloud and wind, here on Ocean Beach. We picked up the Lincoln Highway again in Truckee where it runs on US 40, another transcontinental road. We stopped at the Donner Memorial State Park and looked at the museum. I read the account of their journey several years ago and it was interesting to have covered their route across the Great Salt Lake Desert and into the Sierra. The history of the Washoe Indians was also included in the museum display. We drove along the lakeside which was very busy with people fishing and enjoying water sports and then up the winding road to the summit of the pass. Just short of it I was photographing the lake below when five women from San Francisco asked me to take some group photographs with their phones. One then asked us if we wanted her to take one of us and amazed that I had found someone who could operate my camera, agreed. Afterwards we carried on downwards. The names of some of the towns we passed later gave clues to where their emigrants came from: Dutch Flats, Weimar & Heather Glen. Around Sacramento there were endless roadworks and traffic jams at the various major route intersections. In the Central Valley we drove alongside fruit trees. I have been hearing that it has been wet back home so at least my fruit and vegetables should have survived my absence.
Eventually we were in the Bay Area and then over the Bay Bridge into town, to Lincoln Park and then to our motel. I did dip my toes in the Pacific this evening after dinner but decided to delay sunset photography until tomorrow. There were some hardy souls surfing. This part of town used to be called Fog City but was renamed as Sunset. The San Francisco fog phenomenon has the same origins as that along the east coast of Scotland and England: cold air from the sea meeting warmer air on land and condensing. We are used to this in Edinburgh where it is known as the ‘haar’: a name imported from the other side of the north sea. For the next two days we are looking forward to no driving. Our feet and the trams that rumble past the motel will get us to where we want to be.