www.RogerWendell.com
Roger J. Wendell
Defending 3.8 Billion Years of Organic EvolutionSM
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Roger Prepares to Jump Off Golden Gate Bridge
Yet another jumper...
San Francisco,
California, and the left coast!

Although California is fiscally irresponsible, and somewhat immoral at times, it's still a fun place to visit and explore. Over the years I have visited San Francisco a few dozen times (and I actually lived in Los Angeles and Monterey as a kid...), it wasn't until a 2005 visit that I got a really good look around while traveling most of city on foot and bicycle. Despite California's (along with most of our country) overpopulation problem I still love traveling there. The beautiful scenery, fantastic weather, and wonderful diversity make it a great destination despite the high taxes and crowding you'll have to endure while there. So, if you see something questionable on this page it's not because I'm poking fun at California (except maybe for the hemp shop photo or proselytizers) but because I found it interesting or significantly different from my experience here at home, in Colorado, and other states around the west where I've spent a lot of time.
 

 

 

Arrow Pointing Right Click Here for pix of the Sierra Club training that took me to San Francisco this time around...

Arrow Pointing Right Click Here for photos from the Sierra Club's 2005 Summit in San Francisco!

(Click on any of this page's "thumbnail" images for a larger view)

 

1. Golden Gate Bridge:

Seismic Sign Roger's Hand on the Bridge Golden Gate Bridge Seismic Construction Main Support Cable Demo
On my last evening of Sierra Club training 14 of my fellow students joined me for a walk across the Golden Gate Bridge. Even from downtown San Francisco it was easy getting there - $1.25 bus fare took us right up to the visitor center, at the base of the bridge, where we began the 1.7 mile walk to the other side.

The view is spectacular! A thick coat of paint protects the bridge from a constant sea breeze that was pretty darn refreshing after a day in class. As you can see from the upper-left photo there was a bit of construction going on to retrofit the bridge for seismic safety - it didn't pose a problem for walkers or riders.

In the lower right-hand corner are two girls huddled beneath a blanket about half-way across the bridge. They sat there for nearly an hour - I'm not sure what they were doing but they happily agreed to having their picture taken!

Walking Across the Bridge Warning Sign Bridge Footing Golden Gate Bridge Looking Up
Bridge Support Bridge Support Bridge Support Looking Down Two Girls on the Bridge

 

2. Oakland Bridge:

Most of these shots were taken from the Farmer's market that takes place along the wharf.

Oakland Bridge Oakland Bridge Street Musician Farmers Market Seafood Farmers Market

 

3. Gay Wedding Ads and Proselytizing:

I saw quite a few advertisements for gay weddings around San Francisco during the mid 2000's (something a little unusual around the rest of the country during that time period...). And, not unlike most everywhere else in America at the time, there was a considerable amount of proselytizing going on around San Francisco as well...
Gay Wedding Advertisement
Wedding advert
Gay Wedding Advertisement
Wedding advert
Gay Wedding Advertisement
Wedding advert
Proselytizing
Proselytizing
Proselytizing
Proselytizing

 

4. Governor Schwarzenegger and the Homeless:

In the left-hand photo it appears Arnold's popularity slid considerably from his "Hollywood" start (Pretty much like that other California governor who did so much harm as president). The next couple of photos are some of his homeless constituents. I captured the first two on camera only because I saw them lying in the exact same spot for over two days. The guy in the orange sleeping bag obviously wasn't too concerned about camouflage...

San Frnacisco Says Schwarzenegger Sucks - April, 2005
Say "No" to Arnold!
Homeless in San Francisco - April, 2005
Homeless
Homeless in San Francisco - April, 2005
Homeless
Street Camping in San Francisco - September, 2005
Me
Homeless in San Francisco - September, 2005
Homeless

 

5. Haight-Ashbury, Hemp and Water:

Looks like I was 40 years too late for the Haight-Ashbury district! During my mid 2000's visit hemp still wasn't legal for smoking but it was still being sold for other useful purposes. Water, in the right-hand picture, seemed to be an issue at our hotel (the Chancellor) as I think California had been going in and out of drought at the time...

Haight-Ashbury
Haight-Ashbury
Haight-Ashbury
Haight-Ashbury
Hemp
Hemp
Bathtub Warning
Don't waste water!

Here's what George Harrison had to say about Haight-Ashbury in the first
half of Martin Scorsese's George Harrison: Living in the Material World:

"I mean everywhere we went people were smiling, and you know, sitting on lawns drinking tea. When I went to Haight-Ashbury expecting it to be this brilliant place I thought it was gonna' be all these groovy, kind of gypsy kind of people with little shops making works of art and paintings and carvings. But, instead, it turned out to be just a lot of bums. Many of them were just very young kids who had come from all over America and dropped acid and gone to this Mecca of LSD. We'd walk down the street and I was, like, being treated like the Messiah or something. I was really afraid, because I could see all these spotty youths and they were still under the current of Beatle mania but from a kind of a twisted angle. And there were people kind of handing me things like this big pipe, a big Indian pipe with feathers on it. And books, and incense, and you know, all kinds of stuff. They'd try and give me drugs, you know, and I'd say, 'No thanks, I don't want it.' We were walking quicker and quicker - we went through the park, and back out of the park, and in the end we just said let's get out of here. And we drove back to the airport, got on the jet, and as it took off the plane went into a stall and the whole dashboard lit-up saying, 'Unsafe,' right across. It certainly showed me what was really happening in the drug culture, wasn't what I thought with all these groovy people getting, having, a spiritual awakening, and being artistic. It was like any addiction. So at that point I stopped taking it, actually, the dreaded Lysergic. That's where I really went for the meditation." (transcribed by Roger J. Wendell)

 

6. Sunset:

On Friday evening I walked from 2nd Street (Sierra Club National Headquarters), through Haight-Ashbury, along Golden Gate Park and finally to the beach at the Pacific Ocean. It was 8.5 miles, one way, and probably the nicest walk I've ever taken through any city. I reached the ocean, just in time, to catch this sunset...

Sunset Sunset Sunset Sunset
Photographer's Feet Photographer's Feet Beach Grass Sunset

 

7. BART:

Almost as good as Japan's transit system, BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) is clean, efficient, affordable and just downright fun! For about $14, roundtrip, I took it from downtown San Francisco to almost Bay Point and then back to the airport. Add all the bus and Muni connections and you can get just about anywhere without a car! BART is the best!

San Francisco Airport BART Station September 2005 Bay Area Rapid Transit Bay Area Rapid Transit Bay Area Rapid Transit

 

8. Miscellaneous:

Playing Chess in San Francisco seemed to be pretty popular in a couple of places. That huge antenna array, up on the hill, is really visible from all over the place. And, of course, what page about San Francisco wouldn't be complete without a picture of a cable car? Even at $3.00 per ride these cars were always full!

Playing Chess San Francisco Mission Cable Car

 

9. Some Personal History:

During the mid 70s, while serving in the Coast Guard, I lived in Petaluma (north of San Francisco) and Monterey (south of the Bay Area).

BART Fruitvale Station - May 1975 San Francisco Mission Cable Car

 

10. San Francisco's Howard Langton Garden
(September 9, 2005)

Roger Wendell in San Francisco's Howard Langton Garden - September, 2005
Garden Mirror
Roger Wendell in San Francisco's Howard Langton Garden - September, 2005
Garden Flower
Roger Wendell in San Francisco's Howard Langton Garden - September, 2005
Garden Gate

In the fall of '05 I was in San Francisco for a Sierra Club meeting and found myself in this wonderful city garden at sunset on a Friday evening. There was somebody meditating, in the garden's quiet, so I did my best not to disturb anyone or anything. I must have done pretty well as the person got up and locked the gate behind himself as he left! Luckily I was able to catch him, with just a whisper through the tall bars of the security fence, as he walked away. Apparently he assumed I was a "local" because he seemed so surprised when I asked for instructions to access the gate's lock. So, I enjoyed the garden's peace, a bit longer, before locking the gate behind myself as I, too, re-entered the hectic life of big-city existance...

- Roger J. Wendell
September 2005

 

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Links:

  1. Aconcagua (Argentina)
  2. Africa (Eastern) - Kenya, Tanzania, and my Kilimanjaro climb
  3. Africa (Southern) - Our trip through Botswana, South Africa, Zambia, Zimbabwe
  4. Amazonia
  5. Australia Main Page
  6. Australia Two Page
  7. BART - Bay Area Rapid Transit
  8. Boulder
  9. China
  10. Climbing
  11. Critical Mass - Started in San Francisco on September 25, 1992!
  12. Ecuador
  13. France
  14. Hawai'i
  15. India
  1. India Two (overflow)
  2. Japan
  3. Mexico
  4. Nevada
  5. Russia
  6. San Francisco Bike Hut
  7. Sierra Club
  8. Silk Road
  9. Tibet
  10. Transportation
  11. Travel
  12. Travel Two
  13. United Kingdom - England
  14. United Kingdom - Wales and Scotland
  15. Waypoints

 

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