Archives for category: —- San Francisco

Sailing catamarans have come a long way since the Hobie Cats of the 1960s. Today’s America’s Cup cats literally fly over the water on hydrofoil daggerboards and rudders, reaching speeds over 40 knots. That’s an absolutely incredible speed for a sailboat.

I used to sail my old Prindle 18 across SF Bay and we did maybe 15—18 knots and that was thrilling. We’re also hanging off the side!

The video above features the massive AC72, Oracle’s 72′ boat. The one below features the smaller AC45.

Read the rest of this entry »


Read the whole post here.

We picked up this book recently while browsing the shelves of a bookstore in Fairhaven, Washington, Bellingham’s historic downtown.

It tells the story of Polly Bemis, who, as a young woman, was sold by her starving, rural, Chinese family for two bags of seed and shipped by traffickers to San Francisco in 1872. There she was sold again, sight-unseen, to a Chinese merchant living in the remote mining town of Warrens, Idaho, for the considerably larger sum of $2500 (about $46,000 today).

Some years later, as legend has it, the merchant wagered her in a poker game, with a local saloon keeper named Charlie Bemis, and lost. She ended up living with Charlie, ran his boarding house and, in 1890, saved his life when he was almost killed in a gunfight. Four years later they would marry and move to an even more remote ranch, 17 miles out of Warrens, on the banks of the Salmon River.

Well, Natalie and I thought this sounded like an amazing story and began to read when, to our utter surprise, we realized that we’d been to Warrens, Idaho!

Today Warren, as it’s now known, is mostly a ghost town, though Wikipedia lists its current population as 16. Below are some photos of our trip there in the fall of 2010.

If you’re interested in other places to go in Idaho, check out these posts:

Burgdorf Hot Springs (in business since the 1870s)
Ghost town of Silver City (founded 1864)
Redfish Lake Lodge (built in 1929)

Update 2/11/2013: I found the location of the Bemis house and mapped a possible route to Warren. See the map after the jump.

Read the rest of this entry »

Here’s a really nice video showing showing a Lufthansa Airbus A380-800 on its approach, and landing, into San Francisco. Have a look in case you’re curious about what happens at the front end of the plane — by which I mean the flight deck, not first class.

This is a trailer for a 140 minute film from PilotsEYE documenting the last flights of Lufthansa’s highest ranking captain, Jürgen Raps, before his retirement. In another trailer he marvels that the career choice he made 41 years ago was exactly the right one and adds, “Live your dreams, don’t dream your life.” Wise words.

The documentary is in English and German with English subtitles.

Word to my friends in the city!

“Ugh, this coffee tastes like retail…” 😀

An early Pan American Airways display

Did you know that the San Francisco airport houses an actual museum? Sandwiched in between International Terminal A and Terminal 1 is the Aviation Museum & Library. It’s amazing because a) it exists, b) it’s quiet, and c) the exhibits are really interesting. We only saw one traveler that knew of this secret oasis amidst SFO’s hustle and bustle. Not even we were traveling. We just stopped in to look at the exhibits (and weren’t disappointed).

Currently showing, among others: An exhibit on the China Clipper, the first transpacific passenger air service (ongoing), and an exhibit on airline brochures and advertisements (until August 2011). Read the rest of this entry »

If, like me, you’re inexplicably fascinated by construction sites but don’t have the time or the wherewithal to spend all day watching them, you’ll enjoy this.

I recently came across this time-lapse film of the corner of 30th and Church in San Francisco where, in mid-October of this year, MUNI replaced some tracks. This amazing video handily compresses three-and-half days (and about a million dollars’ worth) of ’round-the-clock construction into about twelve readily-watchable minutes. Consider it armchair travel.

This short film was posted on Vimeo by user Ken Murphy. Watch it here or click this link.