Alcatraz Island, San Francisco, U.S.A.

by Liz

The travel was overseas, but we came back as foreigners to see America. The foreign tour to see America was 24 cities or whereever the plane was going for 45 days. We have visited most of America except about 6 states.

This stop on the trip was in San Francisco. I wanted to ride the cable cars. They were great on the hills of San Francisco. Chinatown is a little bit bigger than other ones. The houses ware very pretty.

I wanted to take the ferry to Alcatraz Island. This is the former prison called “The Rock.” It is located in the San Francisco Bay by the Golden Gate Bridge. It has been the Golden Gate National Recreation Area since 1979. The island is a sandstone mass dominating the entrance to the San Francisco Bay.

They have wonderful tours of the former prison. We were locked in a cell block. We entered, then the band or clang of the cell block locking. It is a sound not to forget to think some lost their freedom. Next we went to Bird Man’s cell. He spent more time in the hole than any other prisoner. Next we visited solitary confinement – dark and a very tiny hole for a light.

The island has its own lighthouse. The island is self contained with a power plant. Rain water was shipped by barge and stored in cisterns.

Correction officers stationed on the floor of a cellblock could not carry guns or keys. Armed officers above lowered keys to the cellblock when needed.

This prison was needed to house public enemies and for intractable offenders already confined in federal prisons.

The three that tried to escape and swim to freedom have never been found.

This was another eye-opener because some people never get how to go by the rules of life.

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