The Sunday Traveler has had guests visiting from Texas for a couple of weeks, promoting visits to many of the local tourist spots. Sometimes, it takes visitors from outside the state to open the eyes of the resident to see just how beautiful our home state is.
Well, that said, the views from Alcatraz of the bay are incredibly gorgeous; the remaining crumbling structures have their own beauty, but the inside cell blocks have a starkness that is sobering. I took a few photos inside of the cell blocks with my phone’s camera, and will not show those here; I’d prefer to stick to the outdoors, which in a way brings home the fact of how hopeless the prisoners must have felt, being locked up in a tiny cell, and seeing glimpses of the expansive bay and the City that is so vibrant…and that was taken away from them. And, yes, I understand that some terrible crimes had been committed, and most deserved that punishment.
A “parade ground” that had once stood here has been fenced off, and quick glimpses of San Francisco could be seen as the torn tarp covering the fence flipped open with the wind.
This was once the post exchange and officers club. By the time the Civil War broke out in 1861, Alcatraz became a part of the U.S. Army’s western defense plan. More than 400 soldiers were stationed here. The island also became a prison for soldiers convicted of desertion, theft, murder, and assaults. In 1907, the army decommissioned Alcatraz as a fortification. In 1915, Alcatraz was renamed United States Disciplinary Barracks, Pacific Branch. Alcatraz became a federal penitentiary in 1934.
Part of the warden’s house, I do believe the wardens had a pretty prime view.
Alcatraz has become a prime breeding and nesting ground for the sea-going birds. At the time of my visit, we were told nesting was in full swing, and to give the birds their space. Walking down one off the track road/path, a bird (I do not know what species it is) seemed to be pacing directly on the path and did not seem disturbed by the few passing people on this path, and did not fly away. Looking across the path on a slightly elevated outcropping of rocks on a cliff was the answer to this bird’s pacing and watchful eye
A fairly camouflaged mate in her nest was carefully being guarded.
There is quite a list of birds listed in an informational brochure of the island, but the only one I was familiar with is the common seagull, also nesting nicely here on Alcatraz
This seagull had chosen a comfy spot sheltered fairly well from the winds that most probably roar around this island in the middle of the bay.
The Sunday Traveler and guests had chosen a wonderful day to visit Alcatraz; fog that was pulling back, sun that became plentiful, and no wind.
Nice shots and write-up. It’s how I remember when I visited Alcatraz back in March. And like you say, I’m sure the prisoners felt very hopeless, being surrounded by all that cold water, and swift currents.
Thanks, TG. I hope you had as beautiful day as we did with sunshine. Definitely made up for the somber inside cell block areas.
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