United States 6: San Francisco

Waking after a restful night’s sleep, the team set out to explore metropolitan San Francisco. Challenges included riding a cable car, seeing the Golden Gate Bridge (from a far) and locating the elusive Buba Gump restaurant at Pier 39. Angela was pleased to have finally had the chance to have a beer at the restaurant bar, fulfilling a childhood dream (by being in the restaurant, not drinking the beer). Later, the team was particularly impressed with the showboating and snoting of the harbour seals.

Abandoned dogs! Success!
Fortune cookie manufacturing (all fortunes were excellent)

Returning to Sarah’s cool apartment for an optional 12 hour rest period, the team set off for Golden Gate park. Their main task was to complete the Generic Festival Clothing Outside Lands challenge. To complete this challenge, the team was required to collect tickets from the Will Call and spend the next three days at the Outside Lands festival. As a bonus, the team would also attempt to work out why a band called Phish (who basically just jam for 4 hours straight) were so popular.

Festival art Slack waste removal or more festival art?
The sun is smiling, the weather is fine.

Most of the three days of Outside Lands involved checking out the bands and sampling a variety of foods including what Simon termed “grade A awesome strawberry gelato”. Following the second day, the team were given and completed a surprise detour to China Beach. There they again attempted to see the Golden Gate up close. But it was a bridge to far…

Golden gate by night China beach

The multifaceted event that was Outside Lands also included viewing art and a rather expensive wine tasting. The team correctly identified Seven Deadly Sins as the best Napa wine on offer at the festival.

Demonstrating the hand signal (easy to spot in a crowd) Generic ground shot
Muse turn it up to 11

At the end of the challenge, both team members gave their top three music highlights. For Simon these were OK Go, Muse and Deadmau5. For Angela, hers were Arcade Fire, Muse and ‘some New York band’. Unfortunately, they were unable to complete the bonus challenge as they were no closer to understanding why Phish was so popular. Simon’s best theory was that Phish is some sort of cult.

Another day of festival racing

With the Generic Festival Clothing Outside Lands challenge completed, the team resumed normal sightseeing racing. They continued to walk most of the city, visiting the Mission, Painted Ladies and the most crooked street. They finally managed to see the Golden Gate up close. Simon continued his invented Prius game, much to Ang’s annoyance, and managed to spot 4 Prius in 30 seconds. The team also discovered Sarah’s aversion to brunch.

Golden gate by day Windy but clear
Mission mural alley Lenin appreciates the mural irony
Silly crooked garden street

Soon it was day six of this leg of the race, the last day. Keen to get as much value out of their remaining hours in San Francisco as possible, the team visited some art galleries, Haight street and rode the cable cars couple of more times before they raced back to the T line and back to Sarah’s. Then Sarah kindly drove them to the airport, where they boarded the flight to Seattle.

SF streetscape Near Haight
Please keep your body outside the moving vehicle Better than walking up the hill

The pit stop for this leg of the race was the city hostel in Belltown. The team was the first to check in, winning this stage of the race.


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