Friends in CA come through and we hitch a ride in their Audi A6 instead of the train as the start to a touristily pleasant day. Alcatraz is falling apart, beyond disrepair. Whole buildings are reduced to cement outlines of structures, including the warden’s house and other formerly substantial facilities. The cells were as tiny as you’d expect in one of the country’s harshest prisons, but it was hard to imagine time on this island being a dreaded condemnation as I sat in the warm sun with a cool ocean breeze. Alcatraz can’t be more than a mile from Frisco; do people swim it? Definitely more doable than the English Channel, and it’d be badass to swim away from “the rock.”
Golden Gate is more appropriately Burnt Sienna Gates, as the color’s a reddish orange and there are 2 “gate” structures. After hours of walking, we made it onto the windswept crossing. Most interesting was the Port-a-Potty near the bridge’s center (not normal, I assume: seemed to be minor construction in progress) and the emergency counseling phones to prevent plunging suicides. It definitely seemed easy enough to walk along one of the large side cables to the top of the gate; littler wires even served as railings of sorts. I daydream of unfurling a big peace sign hanging from atop a gate, proclaiming antiwar to all of the Bay Area and, best case scenario, many more glued to their TV sets during the evening news. Summer project?
As further evidence that it doesn’t matter where you live, we watched “Chicago” in San Francisco tonight. Even worse: in a multiplex likely run by some multinational corporation, complete with a Starbucks across the street. Sure hope somewhere has differentiating features left for me to travel to in a few years! I drive the Audi back nice and fast, arriving in San Mateo more than ready to sleep.