Toots is this majestic creature. What she lacks in grace she makes up for in excitement and her short term memory makes a burn out from the 70’s look good. She is what I woke up to this morning, or rather she was the first one to greet me when I emerged from my room at Rachel’s.
Once all of the proper morning shenanigans had been completed with Toots. Rachel and I set out on our day long adventure.
The first stop was the Sea Lions down by pier 39. All but one of them were just sitting in the sun enjoying themselves. The one trouble maker was 3 times the size of the rest and he was making his presence known as he howled and tried to pick fights with the rest of the group. Well the rest of the group minus the one sea lion that was his size and asleep, he left that one alone.
The ride from shore to Alcatraz was a short but beautiful one.
The Island it’s self is overflowing with history. Everyone knows it as the escape proof prison, but a lot of people don’t realize that it went through several distinct phases.
First it was actually a fortress. It was the first permanent fort west of the Mississippi. It was built to maintain control of the Bay, because who ever controlled San Francisco Bay controlled the West.
It then was used as a military prison in the late 19th century and in the 30s became the infamous civilian prison we all know.
They like to boast that no one every successfully escaped from it, but several individuals were assumed dead when no signs of them were discovered. The assumption is that they drowned in the Bay due to the cold water and serious currents. That being said every year there is a triathlon where the first leg is swimming from the island to shore… so it is very possible that these men did in fact escape and the prison system just decided to claim they were dead rather than admit individuals has successfully escaped The Rock.
The next phase for the rock is known as the occupation. In the late 60’s Native Americans moved onto the abandoned island and demanded that it be declared Indian land. They occupied it for 18 months as a form of protest and their graffiti is all over the place. They eventually were removed by US Marshals, but their occupation drew attention to their plight and native lands began being returned else where in the country.
The final and current chapter is the US Park Service. The island is now a national park and the land, buildings, and abundant bird populations the all federally protected.
The next thing on our agenda was riding an iconic street car. It is a rough ride, but totally worth it. Just the way the whole thing is operated by 2 levers and how going up and down the hills seems like a roller coaster. It’s a ton of fun!
The trolly just happened to dump us right in the middle of the San Francisco Pride Parade. These are my people. I am not a member of the community, but I tend to always find myself most at home in their bars and at their festivities. I think it’s because I too strive to not hide myself and to celebrate the fact that I am just a little different. I also am like catnip for drag queens and am comfortable enough with my own sexuality that I’ll flirt right back.
After we had made our appearance at the parade we hopped on a train to our next destination. I want you guys to seriously look at those two photos I got on the train. Look at the faces. Imagine the energy in the room. Some people were celebrating with their friends, some were celebrating with their children, others were horrified to be on this train. It was a beautiful representation of american society in my opinion. I also am in love with these photos.
Our final stop for the day was a place called Dandelion. They make gourmet chocolates right there were you can see them. Rachel and I spent some time sitting and drinking hot chocolate while watching the chocolatiers do there thing.
I spent my evening enjoying having reliable secure internet for the first time in 2 weeks. Toots kept forgetting I was in the house and getting excited every time she came around a corner and found me.
On that not I am off to bed folks, tomorrow I have to deal with some stuff for the new job before leaving the city, but I will be off to Yosemite for a few days.
I also want to take this chance to thank all of you for reading. Keeping this blog has been a blast, unfortunately this adventure may be coming to an end sooner than expected, damn adult responsibilities, so if you are enjoying it, please share it with your friends. I am for sure not going home this week, but possibly next week, and I would love to have as large of a following as possible. You see this trip is mostly self funded. However if I have a decent sized following then it will be possible to get some funding for the next adventure. Cause let’s be honest, we all know I am going to keep periodically refusing to adult.
Daily Scavenger Hunt score: 1
– 1 point for getting a photo in Alcatraz
Total score to date: 23
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