June 2022 Vacation Day 12, Heading to Silicon Valley & San Francisco · · PAGE 31.
June 3, 2022: The Day starts from
Tracy, California heading west on I-205 going toward the south end of the San
Francisco Bay before using US 101 to go north toward San Francisco and points
north. We purchased our breakfast sandwiches at 8:05 AM from Wendy's near
the motel. This underpass is about one block from our hotel we used last night.
The first left turn on the other side of this overpass will get us going West toward
San Francisco Bay.
The westbound freeway entrance to interstate 205 leaving Tracy, California
has suffered some tagging.
Just a few miles west of the town of Tracy and its surrounding warehouses
comes this huge citrus grove on the north side of the freeway.
The locals who take this route toward the bay area every day know these
freeways by these names. What is happening here is a junction of I-580 and
the end of I-205. I-580 goes south from here to connect with Interstate 5
going down to Los Angeles. We are continuing WEST on I-580 toward the bay
The California Aqueduct project is what makes the Central Valley fertile
and the agriculture here feed much of the nation. It channels the mountain
rains and snow melt across much of the state of California. We crossed two
of these canals that mark the west side of the California Central Valley.
Interstate 580 comes less than 16 miles from Interstate 5. It moves
traffic to the south side of the San Francisco Bay area up to the north end of
the bay at Richmond, CA where it crosses the north end of the bay via the
Richmond - San Rafael Toll Bridge ending at US 101 near the town of San Rafael
well to the north of San Francisco in Marin County. We crossed two canals
and the terrain is rising toward some low mountains ahead.
The rolling hills have added wind generators for the air moving over the
hills visible ahead. I just passed a sign offering information about
traffic and the winds at 530 KHz on AM Radio.
Westbound I-580 is running high up on the side of this ridge with the
Eastbound lanes going west down near the bottom of the ridge and a railroad
bridge crossing those lanes. Some of the wind generators are visible at
the left side of this image.
The message here is to stay in the right lanes in this approach to the
This exit was a last second move to the far right lane after passing
through the underpass. This San Jose exit points the way to our next
This is the right turn after the underpass for I-680 South toward San
We went south on I-680 about 16 miles to reach Mission Boulevard that will
take us to Interstate 880
This is where we give up I-680 and head over to I-880 before we find what
we really want: US 101 to go north toward San Francisco on the west side
of the bay.
California route 262 takes us less that one mile to I-880 where we will go
south to get on US 101 to go NORTH up the west side of San Francisco Bay.
We end our short ride on CA 262 and turn south on I-880 until we reach an
exit for US 101.
Interstate 880 south has brought us about 7 miles to this exit to get over
a surface street to US 101 North to San Francisco. Google Earth shows this
road as the Nimitz Freeway as seen at the top right corner of the image below.
On Thursday, May 26 we passed through the home town of Admiral Nimitz,
After about 1/4 mile on a surface street with no US 101 signs, we followed
the GPS to this Freeway Entrance to get on US 101 north. This is the only
sign after getting off I-880 Exit 4C.
I am always glad to see the new route marker after every change as seen by
the US 101 NORTH sign at the side of the road under the shade tree at the right
side of this image. We stay on US 101 until it gets to Van Ness Boulevard
at the south side of San Francisco leaving the interstate routes behind entering
the main part of the city.
This area is the famous "Silicon Valley" of California. A
number of roads are named for electronic companies. Trimble was an early
GPS company. I use Garmin GPS units in my airplane and on the ground.
This is MOFFETT FIELD Naval Air Station which has been in use since before
World War 2. That large hangar on the left of this photo is for US Navy
blimps that patrolled the California coast looking for Japanese Submarines
during WW2. The runways are long enough to handle any kind of military jet
California was activating these express lane toll areas when were in this
area. Notice the Express Lane is empty. The Google Earth camera
vehicle was not using it either.
This image shows the EXPRESS lane not yet open for tolls as we are passing
the SFO Airport.
Approaching the city in the two left lanes is where I want to be.
Here is one more confirmation we are in the correct lane following US 101
into the city..
It was a foggy day when Google Earth drove this route to enter the city.
At this point we follow the US 101 North route heading for the Golden Gate
At every split of the route we continue to follow US 101 North.
There is the reassurance of the US 101 North route sign.
The far right lane is the way to go again. When this bridge ends and
the road comes down to ground level, Mission Street will take us to the US 101
route going north.
This is the street that turned RIGHT after the end of the off-ramp from
the freeway. The sign that is partially hidden behind the tree limbs
confirms this is US 101 NORTH going toward the Golden Gate Bridge and it shows
the CENTER LANE at the next traffic signal is the correct path for US 101.
Here is the view during the turn from the middle lane getting on to Van
Ness Avenue following US 101 North.
Take notice of the 55 US 101 text in the upper right corner of this image.
This is near the south end of Van Ness Avenue just off 12th Street that comes
from the freeway to this location. The Google Earth compass in the
upper right corner of this image shows we are going north on Van Ness
Now the image confirms we are going at 49 South Van Ness Avenue, which is also
US 101 as seen on the sign pointing toward the Golden Gate Bridge!
It took 33 images on our virtual travel from Tracy, California to get us into San Francisco and heading NORTH on Van Ness Avenue with some sights to see on the following pages.
|San Francisco Sights and the Golden Gate Bridge - PAGE 32||RETURN TO WESTERN TOUR INDEX PAGE|