09-07

DAY 57: SAN FRANCISCO, CA TO SAN JOSE, CA

On the fifty-seventh day of touring in the I.D. 4, we arrived on an island in between Oakland, CA and San Francisco. Yerba Buena Island and its neighbor, Treasure Island. We saw a Coast Guard boat driving in front of the skyline. The Transamerica Pyramid is a 48-story futurist skyscraper and the second tallest building in the San Francisco skyline. Construction finished in 1972 and it was the tallest building in San Francisco until 2018 standing at 853 feet. We then used the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge to cross the water into San Francisco, CA. The double-decked bridge has a total length of 4.46 miles and opened in 1936. After exiting the bridge, we entered the financial district of San Francisco. A cable car appeared as we waited at a stop light. Of the 23 lines established between 1873 and 1890, only three remain and have run for over 100 years. The San Francisco cable car system is the world’s last manually operated cable car system and an icon of The Golden City. San Francisco is known for having tremendously steep streets throughout the city. We spotted a Waymo vehicle, formerly the Google self-driving car project. Standing for a new way forward in mobility, the car was testing the autonomous driving technology. San Francisco is also home to the house of the famous sitcom, “Full House”. We visited the Fisherman’s Wharf and could barely see the top of the Golden Gate bridge due to the dense fog. In the water, there were some old sail boats being towed closer to the wharf. For us, this was an especially grand moment because we have arrived on the Pacific and have officially trekked from one side of the United States to the other. There was a little car that tourists could rent and drive around the city. As we were coming down one of the famous hills, we could see the island of Alcatraz. Alcatraz was a military fort and notorious maximum-security federal prison. Designated in 1933, the 25 acre island housed the likes of Al Capone and Machine Gun Kelly. Since then, it has become a famous tourist destination and the island can be seen at many points in the city. We took a boat tour from the port to the Golden Gate bridge and around Alcatraz. We were able to get a better view of the embodiment of San Francisco. The Golden Gate bridge is 1.7 mi long and 746 feet tall and opened in 1937. During the tour, people sailed in their sailboats and participated in various water activities. There was a person riding a hydrofoil board. The special design causes the board to leave the surface of the water at various speeds.  Our day in San Francisco ended after we drove up Jones street, the third steepest street in San Francisco with a grading of 29%. We were very glad we were driving an electric car because the street is so steep. If we were driving a manual, we would have probably burned the clutch.

We began in the northern part of the city and crossed the Golden Gate Bridge. The fog was still immense around the massive red bridge. Then there was a sea plane near a dock. The tide was changing quickly so the plane was not on water at the moment. We said hello to a police officer riding a motorcycle that had a blue helmet that matched the I.D.4. They were nice to take a photo with their motorcycle and the I.D. 4. The fog covering the city only spread to near the bridge, but once we arrived near the Bay Area the skies were clear.  We then stopped at a Safeway that had a charging for EV vehicles. The chargers were close to the entrance and the spaces specified for EV charging only. We arrived in Belmont, CA and visited The Volkswagen Group of America Innovation and Engineering center. Located in the technology hub known as Silicon Valley, this center blends bold new ideas, bridging the gap between Silicon Valley technology and the Volkswagen car manufacturer. Due to COVID-19, we met with everyone outside and we spoke about new program from Volkswagen, Way To Zero. We would also like to thank Yuric and Mark for hosting us at the Volkswagen Group of America facility. As we were leaving the technological epicenter known as Silicon Valley, we passed by the Google headquarters. There were some ladies rowing boats out on the water. Electrify America also has smaller level two chargers as well, not just the larger level 3’s. We met a lovely family at an Electrify America station charging their I.D. 4. They are very happy with the car and love the fact that it supplies enough space for their family.

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