We trekked on past the now familiar Chestnut Street, west past opulent houses, middle class neighborhoods, commercial strips, and seaside suburbs. On the way, we navigated one of the toughest hills in all of San Francisco, a near vertical climb bordering the Presidio. After several rest stops and a brief phone conversation with my great friend Megan who was checking to make sure that we were fine and not, in fact, at the bottom of a well “putting the lotion on its skin,” we found ourselves faced with the mighty Pacific. The Great Highway (Rte 1) runs along the coast line. For the first three miles, a bike path/walking trail parallels the Highway. After an hours walk, we reached a break point before pounding the pavement, literally. The sunset behind clouds was unremarkable and the gathering dark left me with one thought, “without reflective strips on our gear and apparel, we were barely visible to the on-coming traffic.” Kae suggested that we pull off and mull over where we would stay (Pacifica, my original end point, was still 3.5 miles off). We didn’t take off until after 1 in the afternoon, way too late for a 15 mile walk. We stopped at a Taco Bell, significant because previous to reaching California, Kae labored under the misinformation that Taco Bells (his favorite of fast food eateries) did not exist out west. This was not true, but there is a chain that rivals Taco Bell’s popularity without having a stronghold within the east coast, Del Taco. More on that later. We had not made any couchsurfing appeals this far south and, despite having some dubious offers for places to stay via an app on Kae’s phone (I won’t go into details), we opted to stay at a cheap (in price and quality) motel on Highway 101, El Camino Real or the King’s Highway. We trekked the last 1.3 miles to the motorville motel through a light drizzle, stopping to put our duck covers over our packs. Once in the motel, I launched into a deep slumber safe within my cocoon of a sleeping bag where I assured myself germs and other nasties hanging around in the motel ether could not touch me.