map of SF region - San Jose, CA - Postcard Cable car - Alcatraz - Golden Gate bridge (I have borroved the pictures)
Sunday sept 27: Alarm clock started to get angry
at 6.30, but my body didn’t get into vertical position before 7.15. Packed my
bags, checked out and entered the sightseeing bus. The bus picked up people at
different hotels and at the RV-park. Ended up outside the Tabernacle – went
and listened to the televised Sundayconsert. Later we walked around the area
guided by ”Missionaries”. During the lunch break I met with 2 sisters from
Minnesota, who had Norwegian bloodline, and got envelope with name and address
to be returned with Norwegian stamps.
- Soon Monday. Back on Bus – Greyhound bound
for Reno, and we are now entering Wendover, Nevada. The Casinolights glimmer in
this city. The busdriver listens and acts like a real mean figure, he tries to
compete with God himself in issuing Commandments of the type THOU SHALL and THOU
SHALL NOT! – Or else you will be thrown out of the bus. Not a nice experience
here in the ”Desert state” !! He
gave out transfer tickets which we have to take care of like pure gold, .. or
Monday morning (sept 28.) 7.30 AM Pacific time.
I have slept quite a lot trough Nevada, noticed we started to descend downhill.
In Reno we had to leave the bus while it was cleaned and prepared for the next
leg to San Francisco. The last miles I had a small boy beside me. He brought a
BIG pillow and slept like in angel’s hands. Looking at the fellow travelers,
we seem to be quite an international bunch. The new busdriver is a lot less
authoritarian then his predecessor. We start out from Reno half an hour delayed.
…… Oh, here is a sign saying Squaw Valley…..
Lake Tahoe, we are in California. Here are
mountains and pine trees, here and there I see marks from forest fires. I expect
this is the district from where we listened to radio in the early mornings back
in the winter of 1960, Olympic gold medails to more Norwegians. Along the road
here the landscape is much more virginal than in Beitostølen, and Beitostølen
had no Olympic winter games! Now the busdriver announces: ”Next stop downtown
Sacramento”. I remember the city
name from ”Snowshoe Thompson”, the novel that I read in ”Norsk
Barneblad” (Norwegian Children’s Magazine) , many, many years ago. The roads
fall nicely into the terrain, just like in the mountain areas home. Here and
there there are spruce, a bit greybrown in the needles though – Donner pass,
ski resort, ….
Monday sept 29 abt noon: The busdriver told me I
could follow this bus into Oakland, by that I would save time. In Oakland the
suitcase was placed on the bus to San José, and I managed to get into the bus
the second before the busdriver closed and left. I had queued in line 5 and
thought that I as usual had to ”wait in line”. In San José I soon found a
free cab that without delay took me further. Vi stayed on the northbound highway
for a long time before breaking to the west and Saratoga, which is a residential
area, in my eyes for the rich people. The Smiths came here 40 years ago, when
the area’s building boom started.
At that time, they say, land prices were reasonable, interests were low. Today
it’s another dance…..
Tuesday sept 30: Took a morning stroll around
the area. It’s an enormously rich vegetation here, everything from palms,
needle trees, larix with BIG cones, roses, and a lot of species I never laid my
eyes on before, neither know the names of…
Yesterday night our smalltalk touched the theme
politics, and my relatives, the couple being retired teachers, told me that most
of that group will not be furnishing actor Schwarzenegger with their votes on
the upcoming election. California has for years been a Democrat governed State,
I was told. I must remember to copy
the necessary pictures from Norway, I hope my 4. cousin will help preparing the
pictures for his mother. Tomorrow we will either go to the hills in west and
today maybe visit the technical
museum in San José.
Wednesday Oct 1. Trip to Santa Clara at the
Pacific coast. We crossed the western hills (1800 ft). Here is a lot of spruce/pine
but also some very tall leaf trees with huge dimensions. On the east side was a
big water-reservoir that clearly was expecting winter rain. Down in Santa Clara
we went out to the pier, took photos of the ocean and the birds.
The gulls look bigger then their relatives along Norwegian coast! The
browngrey colored are young birds . After
a dinner rest I accompanied Marshall jr., Silvana and Christian (my 4.cousin) to
their home – checked the bus schedules and left for dinner at a
Thai-restaurant. I expect Christian to have made a strong mixture of my orange
drink, because the Thai food did not feel that spicy (I was warned about strong
spices). After dinner we left for meeting in the local orchid-union, where I was
presented for the dignitaries. The speech on preservation of orchids in the rain
forest was very professionally done (2 slide projectors and one overhead
commandeered by one person)
Thursday Oct 1. Left for Mission Santa Clara and ended up at a very well
tasting lunch table, afterwards we
visited the Mission. Together with Mary I went into the huge Cathedral –3
”absolution-chairs” on every side of church. In the afternoon I went with
the younger part of family to the movies in Saratoga. The Film was a German
production, ”Luther”. Interesting – gave good background on
the big religious change and German national battle in the time of
electoral Prince Friedrich.
Friday Oct 3: Copied and put names to most of
the pictures left for Mary, tried the new, glossy photo paper. It was not at all
easy to wave goodbye to the friendly, nice family. Christian drove me to San
Francisco. He asked me to keep a good jacket ready. The closer we came to the
city, the fog tightened. Parked in a P-house, 3.floor not far from the bus
station and went with the Cable car (first part by bus) from Market to
Fishermen’s Wharf. Next step was the boat ride out to Golden Gate.
The waves made the last part out to the bridge quite ”jumpy”
and if there are salty spots in my diary, the salt will be from Puget
Sound where we turned – north around Alcatraz and inside mole and calmer
conditions. We were lucky to get waterproof blankets for cover, placed in the
stern of the boat. Traveled together with a father and 3 children from Arizona.
The smallest boy started sleeping on the wet sitting pillows when we returned
inside the mole. Took a walk along the quay, followed the ”tourist stream”
visited some of the ”tourist shops” (rebuilt seahouses) and took the Cable
car back to Market. Bade farewell
with Christian outside the bus station.
Eugene, Oregon - Bridges of Portland - Powells House of books - Spokane;Washington - Coeur d'Alene, Idaho (I have borrowed the pictures)
Took the bus to Sacramento at 8.30 PM, the bus
to Portland should leave at 10.30PM. Clock
ticked away, 1 hour , more and more delay, probably both a bus and a driver had
to be brought into the daylight (nightlight).
Our lady driver probably missed the road later in the night; she ended up
calling instructions on her mobile phone how to find the bus station in Redding,
where another driver took over. ..
I used the time thinking what was the name of the ”member-shop” we visited
in Santa Clara ?? Yeah, Cosco. Another
chain I observed was called Target.
Saturday morning Oct 4: sun not over horizon yet – relaxed and slept well
this night. Made a stop at Yreka at 6.30 AM, had breakfast, this time Taco Bell.
2 tacos with cheese, vegetables and meat + fried potato and mineral water for
In the waiting line in Sacramento I had a
conversation with a Canadian nurse, married to a retired plant breeder – we
had an interesting discussion on our near history and what this world will
develop into in the future. I have to add that I had few possibilities to get in
touch with my e-mail the last days. The Macintosh in Saratoga did not appreciate
my touchy fingers, and did it’s best to disconnect me from the Internet as
soon as possible. I know my son has left me a message, which still is unread.
Now it’s day in Åbjør, here at the Pacific coast we are 9? Hours behind.
Said probably goodbye to the last palm tree in the middle of the night. We are
now driving between low hills clothed with needle trees – at home the saw
chains have the brand name Oregon … as
far as I heard vi are soon in Grants Pass, Oregon.
–quick stop, 2 minutes …. The time is 11 AM and we have arrived
Eugene. Since Grants Pass the weather has changed, now there is fog and low
clouds, light rain (the first I observed in USA). Landscape is hilly, the road
curves along the hillsides,. – Drove past University of Oregon. Saw some big
sawmills. Spruce and pine dominates, bur with big variations. Few farms – but
I notice both sheeps and cows grassing in the pastures in the valley bottom.
Fog ant water on the buswindow prevents taking pictures. A lot of new
travelers enter here. Nest stop will be Portland, the driver announces. -
Portland: Bus for Seattle .55 PM arrival Seattle 5.20 PM, from Seattle to
Billings, Montana 7.20 PM arrival 2.50 next day.
Saturday Oct 4 abt 1 PM:
arrived at the younger Fossens, travels further tomorrow. Have been to
the library and checked e-mail. Tor Magne was home last weekend and helped his
cousin to move from Vang to Eastern Slidre. At least I’m satisfied that
somebody home knows where I am at the moment. Sent a message to my sister in law
and to my neighbor in Åbjør. Milo had sent a mail asking: ”Ola, where in
hell are you ?” and I answered ” I’m not in Hell, I’m much more close to
Heaven”. The plans for tonight
are to visit a Greek festival down in the City. .. We managed both festival and
a visit to ”Powells House of Books”.
Sunday October 5. .40PM. Greyhound bus station
in Portland. Had a good and safe nights sleep at Vinh and Garth’s apartment up
in Knob Hill. Went to the market in Chinatown. Bought a leather purse to hang
around neck ($12) – dropped into a warehouse had coffee and Danish. Prices on
bread was high, more than 1$ more than usual, but this was organic products. We
took the trip to one of the bridges and took photos. Some of the skyline towards
downtown, congress center ant a restored wheel boat used in the tourist season.
I plan to start the eastbound leg this evening and be in Billings in the middle
of day tomorrow.
In the Portland bus station they told me to
change my ”A4” Norwegian travel agency paper into a ”Greyhound Pass”, I
should do this in Seattle. – We
made a stop in Olympia. Here is the Capitol Hill of the state of Washington.
Weather light clouded, spots of blue sky. Has traveled trough flat landscape,
low hillsides far away, and a lot of spruce forest. Here and there advertising
signs with Scandinavian names. A couple sitting behind me commented on the big
bales we saw in a farm we passed. (the bales were wrapped in white plastic foil
for fermenting/conservation like we do in Norway), the first of its kind I
observed in this continent. Busdriver announces 1 hour 15 minutes before arrival
- Bus for Billings (in fact the bus travels to
Chicago) left 10 minutes delayed. Relief.. I got a real Greyhound Pass. It was
not easy, I went to the ticket counter and the lady in charge started calling
here and there (maybe Canada?). She said they could not give me a Greyhound Pass
since I already had traveled many days. She wrote a small novel in the bottom of
my Norwegian paper, and I was satisfied. When checking in the suitcase I got a
surprise, I got a real Greyhound Pass for 3 weeks dated oct 5., so I could
probably have traveled across North America even after I returned to Norway.
I made a FOOL of myself by taking a photo from
the bus without closing the automatic blitz. The moon threw those fine silver
colors in the river beside us. I have to learn how to handle my Fuji in complete
We are now in Ellensburg, have climbed and desendend, probably we have
not yet started the real climb up to the mountains to the east. Trip here have
taken abt 2 hours.
- Spokane Bus station – Monday October 6. 1.40
AM. No we will soon enter Mountain Time. Will be in Coeur d’Alene in one hour.
Bought French toast from an east Asian man who all the time said ”excuse
me”. – St Regis, Montana local
time abt 4 AM. I hope we will get
rid of the **** ***** female bus driver soon – I sincerely pray for it… YES,
now we’re in luck, new driver arrives !