10. San Francisco
For the first day in my American Adventure it was a cloudy and not particularly warm. I did the ‘touristy’ thing and went along the promenade, looking along all the piers and the harbour area. I also tried unsuccessfully to ride the famous San Francisco trams up and down the inclines. After queuing for almost an hour, was told there was no wheelchair accessibility on the trams. I got the supervisor from across town and had a huge argument about the wheelchair inaccessibility and the illegality under American law.
On a detour from the sea front into downtown San Francisco I got a glimpse at some of the inclines but later found these to be mere mole hills in a city of Everest’s !,
A new day, to feel a new way. Well, by the end of the day I would feel exhausted and have severely aching arms. I took the bus to the opposite end of the tram run, the bus circumnavigate around the base of the major San Francisco climbs so I had no real conception of the Everest directly between me and the Hostel. The first block was a hill, the second a steep hill, the third a mountain, the fourth had to be the mountain’s peak – but no, on it went, each block steeper and steeper and steeper, it was taking 30 minutes climb for each block. Many, many people offered to help push me up the ridiculously steep hills but each time I refused, expressing that it was a personal goal and I needed to prove to myself that I could do it – and I did !.
But 10 blocks of ridiculous incline skyward meant 10 blocks of ridiculous decline back to ground level and home-base. The easy part if walking, but if in a wheelchair a death run !. As I whizzed past moving bicycles and cars, I realised my gloved hands wouldn’t grip the my speeding wheels. Crossing several cross junctions while preying for a reprieve in cross traffic. At other junctions I left 30 foot rubber skid marks behind as I slid to a halt. This was my experience of San Francisco – exhausted and lucky to be alive I returned to the hostel !.