Centaurs in Sausalito
The gatekeeper gave us a stern look. They had reached their quota, so our kind were no longer welcome. The next ferry into Tiburon arrived in two hours, but Sausalito had ferries every half hour. It was another 8 miles (13 km) back. Centaurs along the line debated what to do next.
2 mi (3 km): I had just arrived at the BART station with R and K. The plan was to get off at Embarcadero and go across the Golden Gate into Sausalito. From there, a ferry would pick us up and drop us back in the City. It would only take a few hours. At least, that’s what I understood.
After getting off at Embarcadero, we headed over to the Ferry Building. After consulting a map, we noticed another ferry stop at Tiburon. Depending on how we were feeling, we could continue past Sausalito to Tiburon and head back from there. S joined us a few minutes later, and we started on our journey.
10 mi (16 km): It looked like Monaco minus the Casino and Palace. Sausalito, the upscale principality in the Kingdom of the Bay Area, looked directly out into the City. Unfortunately, San Francisco was shrouded in a mist of fog.
We stopped looking when we heard the growls. Before we could enjoy the scenery, we needed to attend to the contents of our stomachs. We stopped at an Italian restaurant with high prices and small portion sizes. What it lacked in size it made up for in taste: the ingredients were fresh.
Invigorated by the lunch, we noticed a ferry heading back to the City. We looked at our watches; Tiburon was only an hour away, and we had made good time. It didn’t take much convincing to continue the journey.
Detours and attractions (detractions?) riddled the path between Sausalito and Tiburon. Would Mill Valley Park be a trap? Not if we could avoid it. Do we turn left or right? Left? No, right… Hmm. I guess it really was left. What’s a silver horse doing in the middle of the park?
20 mi (32 km): Tiburon’s candy store and gelato establishment looked inviting. The ferry was scheduled to arrive earlier than expected, but we decided there was enough time to celebrate its arrival. Stracciatella (chocolate chip) and spumoni (chocolate, strawberry, pista) won out over the other options. As we erased whatever calories we had burned that day, the ferry arrived. The ferry left minutes later, but we weren’t on it. After some deliberating, we decided it wasn’t worth waiting another two hours for the next ferry and to head back to Sausalito.
The maze-like path might confuse the Minotaur, but we left shortly thereafter. Sure enough, halfway through the journey, our group was divided. Where did R and K go? S and I were well ahead of R and K, and we had never seen either of them pass us. Strangely, S received a phone call from R saying they were on the line for the ferry just a couple minutes before we made it back to Sausalito.
30 mi (48 km): Two minutes later, we were on the line for the ferry, but R and K were nowhere to be found. Calls to R’s cell phone went unanswered. After boarding the ferry, we noticed they were still nowhere to be found. Was this a practical joke? Had they returned to Tiburon?
After arriving at Pier 41, we decided to wait for the Tiburon ferry to see if they were on it. We tried calling them in the interim, but R’s cell phone batteries had drained, and calls were diverted to his voicemail. Minutes before the Tiburon ferry was set to arrive, S received a call.
“Where are you guys?” R asked. It turned out R and K were already back at Embarcadero, waiting for the BART.
32 mi (51 km): When we got to BART, R and K were still waiting. How did they manage to go ahead of us? It turns out they had found a shortcut that shaved two miles off of the return from Tiburon to Sausalito. Sure enough, R’s odometer read 30 miles.
Several stops later, as I get off from the BART and prepare for the two mile bike ride home, my thoughts turn to dinner.
34 mi (55 km): I got home, showered, and emptied my fridge. I was still hungry and made soup. I was still hungry after the soup, but I was also tired. I slept.