When we found out that I'd have a free week of vacation, Kelly and I decided very quickly that we should take advantage of it as best we could, so we booked a room near Fisherman's Wharf. She'd never been to Alcatraz, so we made visiting The Rock our main purpose. It is a trip. They have a guided audio tour, and they did such a good job with the tracks that, at times, it really sounds like you're standing in the middle of an operational prison. It's kind of neat to let your imagination run wild, picturing what it must have been like to arrive at Alcatraz, knowing that you'd be spending an interminable amount of time in the depths of hell. I have to tell you, I would NOT want to spend one second there as a prisoner. The hopelessness, the despair, the desolation… and I was just a tourist!
Perhaps one of the cruelest things about Alcatraz was the view on a day like this past Sunday: clear, blue skies, and one of the greatest cities in the world just over a mile away… and yet, totally inaccessible to those incarcerated on Alcatraz Island:
I bet many a prisoner sat on the recreation yard steps, peering at the Golden Gate Bridge, absolutely kicking himself for getting stuck in such a horrible predicament. Then again, probably not, because those guys were all major league assholes.
We took a bunch of pictures, so if you have a spare moment, please go check them out on Flickr.