The San Francisco Bay Trail at San Leandro Bay is a surprisingly scenic short hike in Oakland, California. San Leandro Bay itself is a small bay between Alameda Island, Bayfarm Island, and Oakland. There are several creeks draining into the bay here, including Lion Creek and San Leandro Creek. This creates a rich but delicate ecosystem. The mudflats are important feeding grounds for shore birds, and at low tide you will see lots of them way out in the distance. At high tide, the shore birds will be huddled closer to the shore, where you can see them better, but please don’t disturb them or let your dog chase them.
My favorite part of the annual Saint Stupid’s Day Parade on the first of April, is seeing the puzzled looks of the passers-by. No matter how popular the parade gets, the office workers never seem to have any idea what’s going on. Anyway, I missed the last two years, so I was very happy to be there today.
I have been living in the Bay Area for almost ten years now, and I see Alcatraz island all the time. I always knew that I would get around to visiting eventually. I have been to most of the touristy places in San Francisco, but Alcatraz is a little bit harder to get to. You have to buy tickets in advance and take a ferry. You can’t just go over there on a whim. Besides, it always looks so grim from a distance, did I really want to go there that badly?
Well, currently there is an installation art exhibition by the great artist and activist Ai Weiwei. The exhibit will end on April 26, 2015, so as of this writing, there is very little time left to go see it. For me, this was the perfect excuse to go and visit Alcatraz, and the infamous prison that is now such a popular tourist destination.