Virginia wanted us to do something
out of the ordinary for my birthday. We settled on taking a day
trip to Angel Island, one of the tourist donations I'd not been to
before. Turned out that all we had to do was get to San Francisco
and buy tickets before the ferry left. We did that.
We got on the ferry okay, but the
day started out gray and foggy. We hid below decks for the trip,
staying out of the wind. I was bracing myself for a cold wet day.
Turns out I needent have worried.
Once we got off the ferry we were greeted by a very fine day. The
fog had burned off. The views were spectacular.
Virginia was like "you need to be in
the pictures to."
Then she shot me. Not so long after
that I got a deer. Good thing I didn't hurt her, because she had
Bambi following her around...
We blundered across an enclosed prison camp kind of thing. Turns
out a tour of the facility was just starting. We joined it.
Joe explained that ships carrying
immigrants would dock in San Francisco. The passengers who had
paid for first class passage would have their papers stamped
immediately, and the rest would be sent to Angel Island to wait
for the authorities to decide whether to let them in. Most of the
waiting were Chinese, so the story is mostly about them.
The detention camp was mostly these
buildings in this area. Immigrants would get off at the dock at
the bottom of the model. Most would spend most of their time in
the big wooden building. It was presented as adequate for survival
but not very comfortable.
Immigrants claiming to be joining
relatives in the USA would be grilled about their relationships
and hometown. Sometimes the interviewers would catch people lying
about something and use that as an excuse to send them back to
China. He had many anecdotes about how tough the process was.
Immigrants would be confined for
anything from days to months or years. Some would write poetry.
Some of the poems were inscribed on the walls of the place. Many
plaques around the building spoke of the poems.
This was the most visible poem. Joe
read it to us.
After leaving the immigration
station we continued around the island.
Some nice young couple stopped while
we were trying to get a good selfie and took a picture of us.
We climbed this hill that wasn't
super high, but it was high enough to give us a great view of the
southern end of San Francisco Bay.
There were lots of sights like this
one. The other interesting thing was a quarry where they got
gravel for the roads, but it wasn't visually interesting enough to
make me pull out the camera. What I remember most about the trip
was enjoying the time with Virginia.
By the time I took this picture we
were most of the way around the island. We made it back to the
ferry port in plenty of time for the last ferry to San Francisco
of the day.
After we got on there was another
stop in Marin County someplace. At that stop a surprising number
of bikes got on. I watched them load for a while and then got out
my camera and took a picture. Then I went down to the galley to
see them being stacked. The guy was telling everybody "Just put
your bike on the stack and walk away." I could see that was an act
of faith for many of them. Went back up and watched as a whole
bunch more got on.
The below decks room was quite full
with bikes by the time we headed for San Francisco.
The Golden Gate bridge was not far
off when we got our closest. After we got back we had a nice
dinner near Fisherman's Wharf and desert at Giradelli Square. So
happy to have found someone that enjoys spending time with me.