The ramblings of a woman,
wife, & mother, who loves:
Jesus / my man / the three,
learning about parenting /
mamahood / childbirth,
cooking foods healthy /
international / yummy,
pretending to garden /
write / design,
attempting to run /
exercise / lift weights,
enjoying traveling /
camping / adventures,
finding ways to love /
serve / sacrifice for others.

It is not to say she does these things
with style or grace, or even skill.

Cable Cars - The only way to ride!

February 17, 2010 - 6:50 AM

What famous icon do you think of when you think San Francisco?  Cable Cars!  The only moving National Treasure!

wikicommons cable car

Even though our hotel was right on the cable car line, we decided to walk the however many blocks to the start of the cable car system.  A cable car 1-way ride was $5 or a $13 1-day MUNI pass allowed unlimited rides on the cable cars, the street cars and the underground subway.  Since we had planned to use public transport the entire day, it was the 1-day pass for us and it was an amazing bang for our buck! 

We didn't know what to expect when we started at the beginning of the cable car line, but what we found was this:

This was our first glimpse at the cable cars up close; they are an amazing work of art and require a lot of skill to drive.  The drivers of a cable car are called a gripman.  (Due to the intense upper body strength needed to run the cable cars. And I should note, there has only been 1 female gripman in their history.)  The gripmen work incredibly hard to get the cars up and down the many, many hills, using a series of levers and brakes to make the car run smoothly.  There is a constantly moving cable running underground and the gripmen are using the levers and brakes and hanging on tight.  Each one of the gripmen we had was a character, too.  They had their own quirks of shouting or whistling or hooting along the route.  You could really tell they all took pride in their work, loved their job itself and their enjoyed working with their coworkers.

I was near the front when we began our first journey and, due to the temporary downpour, the roof leaked on my leg every time we went up a hill, which was A LOT (and I never realized that it's not just that one place is hilly in the city, but THE WHOLE city is hilly, all over and every which way, up and down, up and down!).  I did NOT care; I was having an amazing time!  This was by far the best way for anyone (tourist or native) to view the city of San Francisco!

We planned on jumping off at the end of the line at the bay but a couple blocks before the end our gripman shouted, "Lombard!" and we quickly jumped off and took a detour walking down famous Lombard Street. 

(Here you can enjoy our detour, too!)

(At Lombard we met a nice Scottish couple traveling on a cruise ship for 4 weeks en route to Australia.  :)!  Later that night we did end up driving down Lombard, you have no choice but to drive wicked slow.)

Even with the short detour, thanks the cable cars we were right down at the bay and got to see the water, Golden Gate and Alcatraz.  When the sun started shining and things started picking up at the piers we were easily able to find a cable car and jump back on to make our way back to downtown.  Once again, the cable cars were the perfect way to travel and see so many San Francisco sights!

It was during this time, going down a hill and around a corner, that our cable car got stuck.  The gripman may have ridden the brakes too much and it did not have enough momentum to round the corner.  The gripman got off the car and said to the men, "Gotta get off and push."  To which someone must have replied, "Really?"  To which our gripman replied, "You think I'm playin'? Put your ass into it!"  Josh did just that.

Throughout the rest of that day thanks to our day pass, we hopped on and off the cable car, jumped on and off street cars and had grand adventures on the underground.  We got to see a lot of the city from downtown to the piers to Chinatown to Castro to Haight-Ashbury to downtown and back and forth and back and forth.  Since San Francisco is also known for its atrocious parking issues, traveling the city via municipal transit is the only way to go!

cable car riding

Response to Cable Cars - The only way to ride!

  • Kirsten said on February 17, 2010 - 7:41 AM

    Thanks for sharing all about your trip! It sounds like such a fun adventure!

  • Sarah said on February 17, 2010 - 10:44 AM

    Dana, I love all the updates about your trip. Makes me feel like I was there too! :) I haven't been to the Bay Area in over 7 years, but you're making me want to go back so bad!

  • Dana said on February 17, 2010 - 11:47 AM

    Thanks, ladies! I have been so absent in writing I thought using our adventure to get my groove back was a good idea. :)!

Leave a Comment

Required, but not displayed.


Welcome! I am glad you're here! If you are new and would like to get caught up on what's going on, check out these quick links to get you started:

About Me and This Blog...

Begin Our Adventures of Fall/Winter 2012 to CA, MN, CO
   Ladies Trip to Napa Valley
   My Parents Rode in a Plane!

Begin Our Adventures of Summer 2012 to MN and CO
   Vacation to the North Shore and Cabin
   Boulder for the Summer
   Life in Boulder

Begin Our Adventures of Winter/Spring 2012 to UT
   The Drive to CO/UT Begins
   Vacation in Moab
   Living in Moab / Denver

Begin Our Adventures of Fall/Winter 2011 to CA
   The Drive to CA Begins
   Living in the SF
   Living in the Suburbs
   Coming Home to IC

Begin Our Adventures of Summer 2010 to Eastern Europe
   Life at Czech English Camp
   Travels in Germany & Austria
   Travels in Czech & Poland


Fam Q
LM - Czech Guru
RM - CSS Guru
Mrs. Windham
Joe Pyle Wedding Photographer


RSS Feed

Cramer Family 5