The approach to Alcatraz (by ferry boat) makes you understand why it was such a great place for a prison. The island is a national park, and it’s slowly returning to nature (and the birds). With the exception of the prison, most of the other buildings are falling apart. The walk to the top of the island, where the prison sits, is the equivalent of four blocks (gradual ascent). It was colder than a mofo – late August, I was wearing a sweater and a jacket and a scarf and was still really cold. The next time I go to SF, I’d be happy to take the nighttime tour again. It’s very spooky being around all those old buildings at night.

Oh, and there’s bird shit everywhere. They suggest that you wear a hat. I did not, and I’m pleased to say no guano landed on my head. Even though that’s supposed to be good luck. I think.

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