San Francisco. A hard, slanting rain blows in off of the Pacific Ocean, making the Monterey Pines across the street in Golden Gate Park wave their branches as if trying to keep their balance. My backpack is loaded and ready to go. I’ve had a sweet two weeks here and in Santa Cruz visiting much loved friends and family, and texting my beautiful family up in Sandpoint. Funny, saying Sandpoint is up makes it sound like heaven. Well, I guess it is. I couldn’t ask for a better family than the wild bunch up there. I Love you all. I jump on board a plane to Santiago, Chile tomorrow morning, then onto a bus to Valparaiso, a coastal city with a lot of history West of Santiago about an hour and a half. You will be hearing more about that soon. Here are some of the dangers that friends have warned me to look out for: llamas, dogs, gypsies, thieves, earthquakes, volcanoes, rain, bad food, bad company, bad vibes, poisonous snakes (there are none, I’ve heard), spiders, mosquitoes, ticks, bad liquor, fires and a few other things not to be mentioned here. Like the rain swirling around outside my window, it’s all a part of life, so lets get this carnival on the road!