Wednesday, November 21, 2012

San Juan Bautista Coastal Hills in California

I like to stop and close my eyes and imagine the people past and future that walk the same sidewalks I do when I am in other regions. When I look at my pictures, I think about the shared stories they have. This picture (below) is in the coastal hills less than 2 hours south of San Francisco and the San Francisco-Oakland Bay bridge. This is minutes away from urban Santa Clara, San Jose and Silicon Valley, yet so different.

This picture was taken on an October day when I was working as a volunteer with our state historical park.  I stood up to stretch my legs and turned around and saw this scene

"the background drop of the historical town is a cloud puff in the blue sky hanging over the California coastal hills with a white fence meandering up the hill."

I am a painter with a canvas to share. I now understand why John Steinbeck wrote so many stories about growing up in this region. 

I love the variety of landscapes I find in Northern California.  This is my backyard. 

San Juan Bautista, San Benito County CA - Photo Credit: D West

Insiders tip:  Behind the first hill you see in the picture lies the San Benito Wine Trail where I remember some of my favorite wineries. 

What do you see in the picture?  

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My wish to all of my USA friends and family for a warm, safe, and Happy Thanksgiving!  

And, I am sending positive thoughts to everyone else (globally) this week. 

Thank you!  ~ The Fun Tour Guru 

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Sunday, November 11, 2012

San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge

Editor's note:  Happy Birthday to our Bay Bridge!  75  years ago on November 12, 1936.

This picture with the San Francisco Oakland Bay Bridge is unusual and want to share with everyone.

My table view in San Francisco - Oct 2012 by DWest

Of course the Golden Gate Bridge is popular with tourists visiting San Francisco – we sometimes forget the stories of our other bridge ~ San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge.  With everyone going into the city from the East Bay region now, the San Francisco Travel website says this bridge has become the third busiest in the country, carrying more than 250,000 vehicles daily.

If you are riding with someone else and look closely, you will see the new parts of The Bay Bridge – or what we call 'the seismic retrofit project' - it is estimated total of $6.3 billion dollars making it one of the largest public works projects in US history. (cost is taken from the Bay Bridge website)

Unusual Bay Bridge story:

A troll looks over this bridge.  The Bay Bridge troll story was first made public when the San Francisco Chronicle  ran the story on Jan. 15, 1990.  The troll, a symbol of protection, appeared on the Bay Bridge after the 1989 earthquake by iron workers without official knowledge and consent of Caltrans during repairs of the bridge. The troll is 18-inches with a spud wrench  and welded to the iron below the upper deck on the north side of the bridge.  Yes,  they do have plans to relocate the troll when the original east span is taken away.

View of Bay Bridge and Treasure Island 2010 by DWest

Best Sightseeing:

  • For fabulous views of the city of San Francisco, take the Treasure Island exit from The Bay Bridge. Although there is no pedestrian access to this bridge, Treasure Island is accessible by bus if you don't have a car available.
  • For great views of the Bay Bridge, follow the Embarcadero water front.

Don't forget the Bay Bridge in your sightseeing trips ~ The Fun Tour Guru  

Find more details and updates of the seismic retrofit at the Bay Bridge website