CopyRight @ 2006
I'm not a great photographer. I hurry too much. Still, I got into creating wide panorama and 360 degree pictures. I really like them. Instead of an image of a subject, the picture sort of puts you there at the place. You can look around you and look at what you want, not at just what the photographer is showing you. Besides, some places just demand a picture like these.
Click on any picture to really see it.
I hope you enjoy it, seahunt
San Francisco is a special place. Yah, it is a political and cultural statement, but that's not what it means to me. I was never that hip. To me, it is a place where I had fun and saw beauty. One of my first memories of the city was when taking my sister Sue to school there and we were crossing the Bay Bridge at sunset with the last shafts of sunlight illuminating the city like liquid gold. It was so beautiful.
I went there for Thanksgiving to visit my other sister Barb. I was about 13 and it was the height of the time of the hippies. I didn't wear flowers in my hair, but it was that time and she was a hippie. I saw a lot of things I had never experienced before. I rode on Cable Cars, Trolleys and Trains. We went to Macys. I had never seen anything like their Christmas displays. I was completely enchanted.
When I was in college some friends said I had to come with them to somewhere at San Francisco for some reason. I wasn't exactly clear, but I crowded in the car with them and went. We went into Golden Gate park where there was a crowd. After quite a while and meeting many interesting people, the band got on the stage. We had come early so we were only about 50 feet from the stage, in the front of what by then was a huge crowd. It was the Jefferson Airplane opening their annual Birthday concert. A little later another group called the Grateful Dead came on. It was all so new and strange, but it was fun.
When I was 2 days shy of 21, I was in Bodega Bay and wanted to visit my friends at school in Santa Cruz. I ended up on a commuter bus into San Francisco. Funny thing. Those were jaded commuter travelers, but they all woke and looked around as we went over the Golden Gate Bridge. I got out of the bus terminal in downtown with my sleeping bag on my back and stared up at the magnificently tall and majestically beautiful buildings of the city. I hitchhiked down the coast by evening. The trip hitch hiking back on my twenty first birthday was an amazing journey. I met a lot of interesting people.
Then there was the time that a friend, Richard, from college said he was in a bit of a situation, could I help him. I can't say he didn't warn me even if the warning was perhaps beyond his or my understanding. We were two blocks of Haight Street on Ashbury. It was an appropriate place. I should have taken a hint when the cops got freaked out. Gretchen and Little John understood. I took a hint when I found out about what that kind of controlled emotional power could do to you. I didn't know that mental abilities like that existed. I said we had to leave, I couldn't protect them. We got out, but I had learned a lesson.
When I lived in San Jose, I would drive to Milpitas and catch the BART to San Francisco with my bicycle and ride all around the city. I went there with Dan and we would always end up riding the Grand Hiway to the Cliff House at the end of North Beach. Later when we were planning ski trips to Squaw Valley, he, Liz and I would first go from Berkeley to San Francisco for sushi at Yamatos. High on wasabi we would walk laughing backwards up the hills to stretch our thighs in preparation for the skiing. Yah, even in that town we got some looks.
One time we rode our bikes against the wind from San Jose to Milpitas, took BART to San Francisco and then took two days to ride down the coast to Santa Cruz. That was serious fun. You don't notice those big hills outside of Half Moon Bay in a car.
Shawn and I would take the bus to Milpitas and ride BART to Berkeley every year for Christmas shopping at the stands along University Avenue. Then we took BART under the Bay to San Francisco for Mai Tai testing. There were some really bad Mai Tais there, but some good ones too. After a few it was hard to tell the difference. Exploring China Town was just plain fun. The shops carried things unimaginable. I always looked for the lavender jade carvings. They were special. I gave one to Salli. Then we would take the train back to San Jose. By the time we got there, we were usually fairly sober.
When my sister in law, Krishna, came to America for the first time just out of college at age 21, I took her to San Francisco. We went to Ghiradelli Square, Fisherman's Wharf and Pier 39. I can't imagine what it looked like to her at the time. I showed her that grabbing a pigeon was just like grabbing a lobster... but I sure wasn't gonna eat it. Then we drove back to Oakland and watched a Simon and Garfunkel concert. Priceless.
I always though San Francisco was such a beautiful and fun place.
Debbie told me I could do anything I wanted for my centennial. Go somewhere or have a big birthday party. I opted to go to San Francisco. As usual, it was fun and beautiful.
San Francisco is an amazing city. A small, nicely located architectural museum with some choice pieces and nice bridges.
Click on the picture.
We made it there early and were going to take the ferry to Sausalito, but decided we would be better on the
blue and yellow sight seeing boat that went under the Golden Gate Bridge and then around Alcatraz island.
I mentioned some nice bridges. I love this one. It is the gateway to the beauty that is Northern California.
Fisherman's Wharf, Ghiradelli Square, and Pier 39. These are what the tourists view of San Francisco is.
It's not a bad view. The food, shops, galleries and sights are great. The crisp ocean breezes are invigorating.
You could spend days here without seeing it all.
Before we left on the trip, I had said I wanted to see the Steinhart Aquarium with it's circular tuna tank. We started the day with coffee and went to Golden Gate Park. Oddly, we had not been able to find the schedule for the aquarium, but I knew I could find it in the easily enough.
It was one of those gray drizzly days that are so common and pleasant in San Francisco. Well, I figured out why we couldn't get info. The Steinhart Aquarium was being rebuilt and only one wall was still standing. Another place I like is across the street. The serene and peaceful Japanese Tea Garden.
The next day we were going to go to Point Reyes. It is a beautiful drive over the Golden Gate bridge, through the Muir Woods under Mount Tamalpais, then along a remote windy shoreline to Stenson Beach. From there the road follows the San Andreas fault through Drakes slough and then Tomales Bay. The turnoff is at the town of Inverness. All of it is a remote weathered pristine area far from any city. It is the San Andreas Fault that separates Point Reyes from the Pacific tectonic plate. It is the weather and remoteness that separates it from the hordes of people.
This was on the road somewhere below Muir woods. It's just a beautiful area.
Turning in from Stensons Beach is Drakes Slough. It is a quite serene place famous for its bird watching.
The picture is a testamant to the capabilities of Photoshop in the hands of an amateur.
Point Reyes is a place where the big ocean meets the land. It is a place of harsh, natural beauty where wild life teams, removed from man.
Drakes Bay is inside of Point Reyes, protected from the crashing Pacific. It is a refuge for wildlife and a refuge
from the bustle of the Bay Area cities. It is a place to walk with those you love.
After we left Point Reyes, I managed to convince Deb that if we went North, Bodega Bay wasn't far.
Or maybe she was
just being nice and not pushing the question of exactly how far. It is a beautiful drive.
Tomales Bay is a narrow knife cut above the San Andreas fault between Point Reyes National Sea Shore and the mainland.
Oyster farms and fishing are the industries here. For the intrepid few, halibut can be found near the mouth of the bay.
I had the good fortune to spend some time at Bodega Bay. It is a special, peaceful, beautiful place.
This was great. So many times I went to the good diving at Windmill Cove on the outside of Bodega Head.
Sure, some people said it was too sharky and rough, but it was beautiful and vital.
This picture links to the larger picture and also the story of my time spent playing there.
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