Water Above, Water Below

Today, knackered from the long cold rain, we’ll say it in pictures.  As always, we take many more photos than we publish.


Dan, a transplant from Brooklyn and Queens, spent a good part of an hour conversing with us.  He has thought things through. He knows it’s important to vet immigrants carefully. At the same time, he believes we ought to emulate Jesus and treat them with love.


FDR’s presidential yacht, USS Potomac, is anchored in Oakland.


Greg (L), a mariner and a cyclist, saw our Ride sign on the Oakland-San Francisco ferry, tipped his hat to Jeffrey, and treated Jeffrey to a cola. Chelsey (R), a motorcycle aficionado, was disturbed to hear that HRF has to find free lawyers without whom poor asylum applicants can’t properly be heard. She admired our courage in pedaling in traffic. Jeffrey admired her courage in riding on two wheels at high speed. (Each may actually have thought the other was a little crazy.)


San Francisco from the ferry.



One of the famous San Francisco cable cars.


A bit of the San Francisco skyline.




Taulant is a scientist from Kosovo, attending a conference. He has spent time in New York and Virginia.  He admires the social organization and wealth of the German university town where he lives. But Taulant is a people person and has fallen in love with American openness, the way people here smile and engage strangers. Jeffrey is no scientist, but was able to explain to Taulant the basics of the Electoral College.


At Ft. Mason, still miles from the Golden Gate Bridge.


Aaron, who took that last photo, was walking his friend’s dog, Rihanna. He is a kind and thoughtful man, a West Point graduate who works on projects to create small resorts that have low environmental impact and employ the poor (mostly in the Third World).  Jeffrey thinks Aaron may find community with Veterans for American Ideals, a project of Human Rights First.


We saw various sorts of wading birds today, but only this one stood still for a photo.


Manny was walking his dog near the on-ramp to the Golden Gate Bridge. He and Jeffrey talked about the plight of unrepresented asylum applicants. Their chat was cut short when the drizzle turned into a downpour.


Approaching the Golden Gate.


On the famous bridge.


After many cold, wet miles, Jeffrey stopped in Fairfax, CA, to look for a place to stay.  Tao—whose parents are from Brooklyn and the Bronx, and who likes BMX biking—was excited to learn that we had pedaled all the way from NYC. Jeffrey and this self-possessed, articulate young man discussed the importance of helping refugees. Then Tao recommended a hotel in San Geronimo, six miles down the road. How’s that for a guy who knows his neighborhood? Tao went into a nearby supermarket to ask his father’s permission for me to take a photo. He has our card and will follow us on the Web.  We expect to hear great things of him someday.


A bit of the countryside between Fairfax and San Geronimo, during a brief lull in the rain.


At the Valley Inn, cold, wet Jeffrey got a warm welcome and a seat by the fire.


Dante, who used to live at 79th & Riverside Drive in Manhattan, has a wonderful spirit. He grew up in Brooklyn and absorbed that borough’s cosmopolitanism. He and Jeffrey talked about immigration, politics, philosophy and more. Dante is fascinated by the Ride; he’d like to get a recumbent machine and see the country as we do.

Tomorrow, this biggest regional storm of the winter is expected to continue for a third day.  Good thing that Jeffrey’s late mother had him pegged.  She would tell him, “You’re not made of sugar.  You won’t melt in the rain.”

5 thoughts on “Water Above, Water Below

  1. Great photos of humans and animals alike, Jeff!!! Love the stories! (Was Manny from Hawaii? The “shaka” sign gives it away!)


  2. As the son and son-in-law of chemistry teachers, I must demur. You will not dissolve in the rain. (imagine the wicked witch correctly bemoaning her demise with, “I’m dissolving, I’m dissolving.”)


  3. This photo montage does a marvelous job of illustrating the wonderful cross-section of America you see in the people you meet on your journey, Jeffrey.


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