DAY 108 (9/26/05): Rest Day, Palo Alto, CA. This morning we dropped our bikes off at a bike shop for a few minor repairs and new chains. This should be the very last new chain of the trip for me. As an interesting side note, usually cyclists save their old toothbrushes for cleaning their chains. However, on this trip I have gone through way more chains than toothbrushes. In any case, after the bike shop we rode Caltrain into San Francisco and took Muni (SF's version of the T) to Golden Gate park. We walked around there, looking at the Botanical Garden and the Rose Garden. My favorite rose was named after Julia Child, and had lots of yellow-orange flowers. We had borrowed a San Francisco guide book from Jason (who, like Angus, has to work for a living and so couldn't join us today), so we did a self-guided walking tour of the Haight-Ashbury neighborhood. This neighborhood was an epicenter of the hippie movement and most of the landmarks on the tour reflected that. We saw houses whose former occupants included Jefferson Airplane (although I think they were Jefferson Starship at that point), the Grateful Dead, and Janis Joplin. Haight Street itself has lots of shops with hippie attire and accessories, as well as some people who are clearly living in their VW Microbuses 40 years later. The neighborhood also has lots of old Victorian-style buildings in a variety of bright colors. After the walking tour, we walked across the city and met up with Angus, and we all took the train back to Palo Alto together. Jason made an excellent dinner, after which Tobias and I made some plans for tomorrow and then we all watched a movie together. DAY 109 (9/27/05): Rest Day, Palo Alto, CA. This morning, Tobias and I picked up a rental car (a Pontiac Sunfire), and drove off towards Napa Valley. On the way, we stopped for a tour of the Jelly Belly factory, where the famous jelly beans our made. One interesting historical note is that these jelly beans were made famous by none other than Ronald Reagan, who kept them on his desk while he was trying to quit smoking. Reporters found out what kind of beans they were, and the business took off. On the tour we learned how the centers of the beans are formed: a machine stamps thousands of bean-shaped depressions into a huge tray full of corn starch. Another machine squirts a bean-sized drop of syrupy goop into the depression, and then the syrup is cooled and dried until it solidifies. The trays are then inverted over a sieve, so the bean centers are trapped and the cornstarch falls into a collection bin below for re-use. The centers are then coated with more sugar and shiny stuff. Finally, another machine stamps each bean with the Jelly-Belly logo. The whole process takes about 10 days with all the drying steps in between. We got some free samples and I bought a bag of "belly flops" (beans that weren't quite perfect enough for sale). Jelly-Belly has also hopped on the Harry Potter bandwagon, and offers a special flavor assortment that includes dirt, bacon, spaghetti, and garlic, among others. After all this confectionary excitement, we moved on to Napa Valley, where we visited a half-dozen or so wineries. The area itself is very scenic, vineyards everywhere and the mountains clearly visible on either side. Unfortunately, we didn't like the wineries nearly as much as those in Oregon. The wines were all quite expensive, and the quality was good but not exceptional. The atmosphere of the tasting rooms was definitely snobbier than the wineries in OR as well. At one place, we walked in and stood at the counter for 4 or 5 minutes while the guy behind the counter totally ignored us and continued his conversation with some much more well dressed customers. So, we left. Most of the places also charged fairly high tasting fees as well, so Tobias and I shared a glass everywhere that we went. We only made one purchase the entire day: I bought two bottles of a really excellent Cabernet Franc vinegar from the Dutch Henry winery. We drove back to Palo Alto, where I cooked dinner for the guys. In doing so, I introduced Jason and Angus to the joys of artichokes with garlic butter. So, although our stay with them has been brief, I may have left a lasting impression.