Posted by: sunnyharvy | February 10, 2015

Alcatraz Island: An Inescapable Experience

From Oakland it’s a fairly easy ride on the Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART)  into the city of San Francisco, so once the stormy weather had passed, we decided to head over for a day.

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A couple of scenes as we walked along the Embarcadero. Coit Tower above. Oakland Bay Bridge below.

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Our primary objective for the day was a visit to Alcatraz Island, a former military garrison that eventually became a State Penitentiary, and is now part of the National Park Service. Al’s niece’s husband, Chad, captains the Hornblower Cruise boats that take tourists out to Alcatraz, so we were given a bit of VIP treatment onboard. Thanks, Chad, we really enjoyed our time on the bridge!

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Chad showing Al the controls aboard Alcatraz Flyer, which is a hybrid utilizing wind and solar power as well as diesel engines.

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Note solar panels and wind generators on the roofs.

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Chad at the helm.

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Approaching Alcatraz with the Golden Gate Bridge in the background.

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In the late 60’s, after the prison closed down, Native American Indians occupied the island to protest their treatment by the US Government.

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The warden’s house has seen better days.

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We learned that this is the oldest operating lighthouse on the West Coast.

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Conservation and restoration is ongoing…

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Some areas are in worse shape than others.

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A terrific audio tour made being in the cell block a bit too realistic with the voices and sounds from prison times.

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This cell is styled after one occupied by a prisoner who tried to escape. He gained access to the central utility corridor by painstakingly scraping at the cement surrounding the air vent with a spoon.

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I occupied this solitary confinement cell very briefly. An eerie feeling indeed.

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The prisoners could occasionally view downtown San Francisco from this small bullet-proof window in the hallway.

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Hospital operating and treatment rooms.

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Gardens planted by families of the original Army post, and later by families of the prison guards are maintained by volunteers today.

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Responses

  1. This is an amazing post Leslie. A great documentary, captured the feeling of the place.

  2. And Jim and I loved the title

  3. Love your photos. Bjorn lives in Oakland but is in Mexico City. He rode down on a motorcycle he built.


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