Clang Clang Went the Trolley! Ding Ding Ding Went
Trip Start May 25, 2014
27Trip End Jul 09, 2014
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This is the cable car story from yesterday.
It doesnt matter that the title above was from "Meet Me in St Louis", cos San Francisco had em first (thats using poetic licence you see)
Anyway the story about the cable car ride is this. But first of all let me digress for a wee minute. There are four cable car routes in SFO, and each has steel tracks like a tram, with another "groove" in between, where the cable is running. You can hear it Clacking when you cross the street. ("Clacking" is not Chinese for "cracking" by the way!). To me that is the sound it makes. The cable is moving at about 9.6 miles per hour, and the car grips onto this and is pulled along. The man operating the car is called .......what do you think.....a "gripman". He has a couple of big levers amidships which he operates - back or forward for the brakes, and the other one is a gripper
Yesterday we were on the way back from the Wharf, and for some reason it seems that the cars stop across intersections. They all seem to do it. But we accepted that there must be some valid reason for this, after all this is America! Anyway we were half way across (it was peak traffic) and another car coming up the hill was also half way across. Both didnt take off again, and it became obvious that something was amiss! A gripper and the conductor went into urgent conference and contacted the powers that be, and both decided that we had to wait for a superior force to move both cars.
In the meantime, passengers were hopping off to take photos, drivers of cross traffic cars and buses seemed to be getting more agitated and started pointing and throwing their arms up in the air, perhaps praying for a miracle. They all seemed to be quite religious! After all, this is America!
After about 15-20 minutes of this religious fervour, a miracle occurred. This monstrous truck with a humungous bumper bar came up behind the other car, and lo! It was moved out of the way and went merrily up the hill. We didnt need pushing and procceded to roll down the hill to our destination (and relief!)
That added to our cable car experience. But wait! There is more! There is a cable car museum which I thought would be a bit dreary with old wrecks inside, perhaps a few stories of people who had fallen off the running boards, etc etc. But that wasnt the case. It was great! But you will have to wait for that for a day or two. Yosemite story first, AND I HAVE PHOTOS ON MY TABLE.
Catch you soon.
Regards John and Helen.