We blew into the Bay Area under the veil of a rainstorm and departed as the “The City” shone with grandeur under the breaking sun. Even though the weather was variable our time was marked by the consistent hospitality shown to us by our friends throughout the area.
We spent our first night in the Noe Valley neighborhood perched above the downtown with a very interesting gentleman and his partner whom we had met deep in the Montana backcountry during the elk season this past fall. He had ridden out to cook at the camp for the week and became a fast friend who was a treat to stay with.
The next morning we met a friend of Austin’s for breakfast who stoked our enthusiasm with inspiring stories of his three trips to South America since graduation two years ago and the merits of floating interest free credit cards in order to realize your dreams. He then invited us to meet him later in the day for lunch at the Google campus south of San Francisco in Mountain View. We had heard stories but were astounded by the manner in which Google takes care of its employees and were more than obliged to be beneficiaries of that care for a couple of hours.
That afternoon we connected in Palo Alto with my old roommate from the East Village in NYC who is currently in a computer science Master’s program at Stanford. After a quick tour we hit the campus rock wall and sent some arguably sandbagged lead routes for a couple of hours. In honor of a roommate dietary tradition we all went out for dim sum before parting ways and then pushed on south to Monterey to spend the night on the coast.