Below is another Quote from Stephenson's Across the Plains:
"the next day before the dawn we were lying to upon the Oakland side of San Francisco Bay. The day was breaking as we crossed the ferry; the fog was rising over the citied hills of San Francisco; the bay was perfect - not a ripple, scarce a stain, upon its blue expanse; everything was waiting, breathless, for the sun. A spot of cloudy gold lit first upon the head of Tamalpais, and then widened downward on its shapely shoulder; the air seemed to awaken, and began to sparkle; and suddenly
"The tall hills Titan discovered,"
and the city of San Francisco, and the bay of gold and corn, were lit from end to end with summer daylight. "
This is how Stephenson described the dawning of his first day in the San Francisco area.